1 snack pack of M&M candies (per student)
My students ALWAYS love this lesson!
I've successfully completed this activity with 2nd, 4th and 5th grade classes.
This activity can be done in 8+ Steps.
The provided steps include:
Step 1: Before you open your bag of M&M candies, guess the total number of M&Ms in the package.
Step 2: Open your package and count the total number of M&Ms.
Step 3: What fraction represents the number of each color candy in your pack?
Step 4: Answer the following questions:
1. Which color M&M represents the largest fraction?
2. Which color M&M represents the smallest fraction?
Step 5: Eat one of each color M&M.
Step 6: What fraction represents the number of each color candy in your pack?
Step 7: Answer the following questions:
3. If you give 2 red M&Ms to your teacher, what fraction of your remaining M&Ms will be RED?
4. Write the fraction that represents the number of M&Ms that are
5. Which color M&M represents the largest fraction?
6. Which color M&M represents the smallest fraction?
Step 8: Eat all of your M&Ms.
For 2nd graders and SPED classes, the directions were always read aloud and we completed the entire activity together step by step.
With smaller 4th and 5th grade classes, I allowed students to complete the entire worksheet on their own as I would go around the room checking on their progress and understanding.
With larger classes, I would recommend having students pair up in groups of 2 to complete the assignment together. Each student should still receive their own pack of M&Ms and their own worksheet, but the following additional steps should be taken to ensure that all students understand the concept of fractions, numerators, denominators, etc.
--> Before students begin, instruct them to STOP and put their pencils down after STEP 3. Once all (or the majority) of the students have completed STEP 3, call on various students and ask them the following questions:
1. What fraction of your M&Ms are (color)? How do you know?
2. Does that color represent the numerator or the denominator?
3. What is a numerator?
4. What does the denominator represent?
5. Which color M&M represents the largest fraction? How do you know?
6. Which color M&M represents the smallest fraction? How do you know? (You could also ask another student: "Is he/she correct?"
Before allowing students to complete STEP 4, instruct them to answer the 2 question in STEP 4 and when finished do the following:
1. Put your pencil down, stand up and push in your chair
2. When both you and your partner have completed STEP 4 and are both standing with your chair pushed in, switch seats.
3. Sit down and DO NOT TOUCH your partner's M&Ms.
4. Review their answers in STEP 3 AND STEP 4 by looking at their group of M&Ms
5. Circle any incorrect answers.
6. When both you and your partner are finished reviewing STEP 3 & 4, discuss your incorrect answers. If you disagree on a fraction, raise your hand and ask the teacher to review the work.
7. When you have finished reviewing the answers, put your pencils down, stand up and return to your seat to complete STEPS 5-7.
After students have completed STEP 7, they should repeat the review process after STEP 4.
Finally, they can all eat their M&Ms.
Hope this helps =)
Fun Fractions with M&Ms by Felisa Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.