Happy New Year! I wanted to share a quick activity I did with my kids this morning that ties literature and math together. I touched briefly on it in my last post, Nonfiction Picture Books to Read Aloud to Young Children, specifically when I discussed how you could use The Hershey’s Kisses Addition Book with children.
There is another series of books called The M&M Brand books – Counting, Addition, and Subtraction. My kids love M&M’s and with the holidays over, I had some leftover candy. So, I took the candy and made a math lesson out of them. I provided each child with a pile of M&Ms. My kids are 6 and 3, so I had to determine how I could accommodate both learners. Here is what I came up with:
Six Year Old
- I provided him with a sheet that I created that had ten math problems; 5 addition and 5 subtraction.
- I asked him to use the M&Ms to solve the problems. He just generically placed the M&Ms on a sheet of a paper and solved the problem. Next time, or if he has more complex problems, I may ask him to separate by color.
Three Year Old
My three year old wanted to participate, too – especially when she saw it involved chocolate! So, I gave her a pile of M&Ms and a piece of paper.
- First, I asked her to sort by color.
- Second, I provided her with an AB pattern. I simply wrote AB at the top of the paper several times. Then, I told her that the green M&Ms were A and the red M&Ms were B. I said, “If the green M&Ms are A where would you put one?” She placed a green M&M under the letter A. I asked the same question substituting red for green and B for A. She placed a red M&M under the letter B. I guided her along for two more and then she completed the rest on her own.
This quick learning activity provided my son with practice with his math facts and gave my daughter a little introduction into making patterns, which I know she will learn more about this year in preschool (if she hasn’t already).
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