Saturday, April 10, 2021

Jelly Bean Math

Math is delicious, and this Jelly Bean Math Activity proves it! This fun-filled activity can be used for Home School, In-person school, or even on Family Game Night! Difficulty can be adjusted for different ages.

Spring is a great time of year for Jelly Bean Math, since jelly beans are so readily available at that time. You will need the basic jelly beans in the traditional colors for this activity. (See chart below.)

When doing this activity with a classroom, I made copies of the worksheet for everyone. For this Home School activity, I drew the chart on a large sheet of paper, and the kids copied it onto loose leaf paper. 

Depending on the age and ability level of the child, you can add to or take from the steps listed on the worksheet below.

Please note: When I was a classroom teacher a few years ago, I did Jelly Bean Math in groups of 4-5 children. When I recently did this lesson with grandkids, two shared the same bag of jelly beans. Due to the recent health crises, I suggest that every child in a classroom setting would have their own bag. If this is not possible, you could randomly divide each bag into 4-5 smaller bags. It is better if they cannot see through the bag when they are estimating.

Step 1: Fill in the information at the top of the worksheet (name, date, cost, and weight).

Step 2: Write an estimate for each color in the bag. *Write estimates in ink! Total your estimate and record.

Step 3: Make a Sorting Sheet by drawing 8 large jelly beans on a sheet of paper. Write one color name on each jelly bean.

Step 4: Sort the jelly beans by color. Take turns if working in pairs or small groups.

Continue sorting until all the jelly beans have been used.

Step 5: Fill out the remaining information on the worksheet: Actual number, fraction of the bag by color, most, least.

Step 6: Graph your results.

Step 7: And then the fun part, eat!

Step 8: Lastly, have the kids rate the activity. Mia and Alex gave it 4 Thumbs Up! Math doesn't get any better than this!

Classroom Connections:
  • Write about the activity. Was it fun? Why, or why not?
  • Creative Writing: "If I Were a Jelly Bean".
  • Research the History of Jelly Beans.
  • Science: What do you think will happen if you drop a Jelly Bean in water? (Record Predictions.) Try it and see. Record your observations.
  • How many Jelly Beans long is your worksheet? Estimate and use 2 Jelly Beans to measure.
  • ETC., ETC.!

Math is Delicious!

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