Adding with M&M's

July 9, 2015
by Jen Kessel

Use a sweet treat to help students do hands-on math! Students will practice their addition skills in this yummy activity.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to show addition problems using M&M's as objects.

Download Lesson Plan

Lesson

Introduction (15 minutes)

  • Begin the lesson by discussing addition. Potential questions include: What does it mean to add? How do we add? What is an example of adding? Make sure to mention that when they add, the students are making one number bigger by joining two or more numbers.
  • Ask your students what equal means. Remind them that when two numbers are equal, they are the same. Tell them that when adding two numbers together, the result is the sum.
  • Read The M&M's Addition Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Review how in the book, M&M's were added together to make new numbers.
  • Distribute the same number of M&M's to every student, and make sure there are enough for every student to add numbers up to 20.
  • Direct your students to separate the M&M's by color. Make sure that they don't eat any until after the activity has been completed.
  • With a whiteboard or projector, show different examples of number statements using different colored M&M's. For example, if a student has two green M&M's and 3 red M&M's, he could write: 2 green + 3 red = 5 M&M's.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Pass out paper, pencils, and candy to each student.
  • Have your students work in partners to help keep one another on track.
  • Ask your students to come up with as many different examples as they can. For example, if a student has 25 M&M's total, encourage her to come up with five or more number statements, such as 3 blue + 8 red = 11 M&M's, 10 yellow + 12 brown = 22 M&M's.

Independent Working Time (5 minutes)

  • Have your students create three number sentences independently. Encourage them to create new number statements that they haven't made yet.
  • Have them lay out different number sentences on their papers before writing them down. This way, they can visualize the numbers before writing.

Extend

Differentiation

  • Enrichment: Students who understand the concept may use more than two colors in their number sentences. Or, encourage students to use more than 10 of one color.
  • Support: For students who need more support, have them move the M&M's as they are counting them.

Technology Integration

Related Books and/or Media

Review

Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Walk around the room to check on the students' number statements. Make sure they are correct and labeled.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Have the class share some of their number sentences they came up with during independent work time.
  • Allow the class to eat their treats.

Teacher Tips

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