Thursday, January 16, 2014

Valentine's Math Activity to Teach Stem & Leaf Plots

Candy Hearts! A teaching manipulative that can be found in any drug store during January and February and can be so much fun in the classroom! In the past, I've used these with writing, math, and word study. Today, I decided to use the candy hearts with a math lesson in conjunction with the Interactive Notebooks.

Materials: candy hearts, notebook, pencil, document camera
Extension Sheet: Valentine Candy Heart Math

Time: About 45 minutes

Objective: Students will know how to use Stem and Leaf Plots to organize and analyze a set of data

I started the lesson by modeling for students how to organize the candy hearts in data form. I counted all of the candy hearts and sorted them according to color. (Make sure you have at least one set of hearts that are more than 10) I love to use the document camera pretty much every time I teach an Interactive Notebook lesson because it gives the students the opportunity to see exactly what I am doing as I explain to them exactly what I am thinking and why I am doing what it is that I am doing. 

Next, I listed the data for each color. I modeled how to use a Stem and Leaf Plot for the data by listing it on the chart and thinking out loud about plotting the numbers in order from least to greatest. The students then guided me as I found the Mode, Median, and Mean.

After my direct instruction of the lesson, I handed out the candy hearts. (Please notice that I said after I taught the lesson) I gave the students a few minutes to laugh and talk about what was written on each heart. They got a kick out of the "love" phrases! Then, it was down to business. Students sorted the hearts, plotted the data, and found the mode, median, and mean. 

For those who finished early, I handed out a review of our last chapter. This review (the Extension Activity) asked to find the fraction, decimal, and percentage of each color. I am so glad that I did this because most of my students did not remember these skills! I noted to myself that tomorrow I will reteach this skill.

The inspiration for this activity and the review sheet came from Patteach's teacher store! This is a free activity that she offers to anyone who visits her store :)

I had a great time with this lesson, and the students were happy to "play" with their candy! I think there are so many options for what can be done with Candy Hearts!

  What do you plan on using to incorporate Valentine's Day in your classroom lessons?

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