The Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to share a math project we did recently...all about chocolate chips!

We are smack-dab in the middle of a unit on addition and subtraction. And of course that means there's a little estimating and problem solving thrown in there as well. And maybe some data collection? Maybe.

My teaching partner (who is a-maz-ing) came up with the great idea of this fun project that includes estimating, rounding, adding and collecting data to create a scaled pictograph. We used this book's Chocolate Chip Hunt as an inspiration!

Math Wise! Over 100 Hands-On Activities that Promote Real Math Understanding, Grades K-8
Click the picture to get your copy!

 We were *trying* to hit these CC Standards:

First, my friends got one cookie. Just one. It was torture. Because I wouldn't let them eat it. Or touch it. Or sniff it. I couldn't take a picture here because I had to give everyone the evil eye so they wouldn't eat/touch/sniff their cookie.

Their job was to estimate how many chocolate chips were in their cookie. No cheating by counting of course! So they looked at their cookies and finally a few turned them over to see what was on the bottom and they came up with some estimates. We had LOTS of ideas..."10!" "No, 25!" "No, 50!" (Whoa.) Then they recorded them in their Chocolate Chip Cookie Packet.

After they estimated, they were allowed to count the actual amount of chips in their cookies. My evil eye worked almost too well, as some of them didn't want to touch the cookie to turn it over. But we got past it and started counting chocolate chips and recording the actual number in our packets.

Once we estimated and counted Cookie #1, we estimated Cookie #2 and Cookie #3. I tried to emphasize using the previous actual number of chips to improve the estimates...some people saw the value in this, and some did not. We are still working on it...

Everyone estimated and then actually counted the chips in all three of their cookies. They recorded all their data in their packets. They also wrote about how they estimated.

In the packet they also estimated the total number of chips in all three cookies by rounding and then added to find the total amount. No pictures here because I was helping people remember adding strategies... :-/

Once everyone was done remembering how to add three numbers, we collected some data. They wrote their estimates of the total number of chocolate chips on a sticky and put it on the board. We organized it and then they made a line plot to show our estimates.

Then they wrote about how the data looked on the line plot. We tried to make a line plot of the data of everyone's actual number of chocolate chips, but that didn't really work out since EVERYONE had a different actual number. That would have been one gigantic line we just talked about it and moved on.

Last, but not least, we learned about scaled pictographs and used our chocolate chip cookie data to create one with a key!

They used their scaled pictograph to answer a few questions, and it was interesting! We still need some work on this, but I thought they did a pretty good job for their first try. :-)

Overall, I felt like this project was a success! They practiced estimating, rounding, adding, and collecting and organizing data! It took us a few days to get through it all, but they loved every minute of it.

ESPECIALLY when they got to eat their evil eye necessary!

What fun math projects have you done with your kiddos?

Thanks for stopping by!


The Craft of Teaching

What's The Angle?

I am writing this post from Sydney, Australia and it is late spring. The garden is full of life, I'm spending a lot of time in my hammock and the weather is beautiful! Well, it is today. It rained for a week before today! I'm not quite sure what inspired me to write about angles. Perhaps it is the view out my home office window - the carport, with its angular support structure. Or perhaps it really is because angles are all around us, so they creep into our subconscious and occasionally leap out into conscious thought! Either way, I have been thinking about angles a lot lately. 

In Australia, we don't start teaching about angles until 3rd or 4th Grade. By this time, students have a fair bit of life experience with angles in the real world. One of the best ways to help students get their head around the different types of angles is to tap into this real world understanding. Take your students for an angle-spotting walk around the school. Here are some angles to look out for:

Acute Angles
Look for slightly opened doors, gaps between a building and an eave, a slice of pizza in someone's lunch box, and triangles in architecture (at least two angles of a triangle will be acute).

Right Angles
Look for the corners of squares and rectangles in architecture, handball squares painted on the playground, windows, doors and bricks.

Obtuse Angles
Look for triangles in architecture (at least one angle of a triangle is likely to be obtuse) and the inner angle of triangular roof-tops.

Straight Angles
Look for straight lines - any kind - I think this one is pretty self-explanatory!

Reflex Angles
Look for open rubbish bin lids (we call them wheelie bins in Australia - the kind of bin with a hinged lid) and the outer angle of triangular roof-tops.

Look for a closed book, and 12 noon on an analogue clock.

Another fun idea is to have students make angles with their bodies. Divide students into pairs and have them lie on the ground with their feet touching. Call out an angle and have the pairs make the kind of angle you have called out with their bodies (the two students are the lines of the angle). 

I came across a terrific Pinterest board devoted to angles, which has lots of great ideas for teaching about angles. You can find it here.

In order to help students remember the different kinds of angles, repetition is the key. Once they are familiar with the terms, the more they hear them and use them in context, the more likely they are to remember which is which! 

In the Little Green TpT store, I have just posted a new resource to help your students review angles. It is a Scoot Review Game. I've made it a little bit Christmas to suit the season, but the theme is subtle enough that the set can be used at any time of year.

And I've also created a freebie for you: an Angle Identification Poster.

How do you teach angles? Can you think of any other good real-life examples of angles around the school? Please share your ideas in the comments. 

Kelly at Little Green