I’m teaching four resource classes this year – 5th, 6th, 7th, and Algebra. I wanted a fun way to start out the year that would gets kids excited for math and also generate some fun data. I thought an interactive bulletin board would also be fun to throw into the mix.

On the first day of school I presented all students with a small baggie of Lucky Charms and had them brainstorm what lucky charms had to do with math.

Most of them said “lucky numbers”, so we dug a bit deeper and were able to come up with more ideas like:

evens / odds / primes / composites

basic operations

nutritional data

sorting / grouping

shape recognition

patterns

ratios

generating data

counting

proportional reasoning

After brainstorming, the students dumped their charms onto their papers. First they estimated how many marshmallows they thought they had. Next they counted what specific marshmallows they had. Then they predicted, based on their numbers which marshmallow would be the most popular.

The “before” bulletin board

On day 2 and 3, after they estimated, counted, and predicted, they started to graph. First they graphed their own data using a 1:1 scale. Then, we collected class data, and students graphed their class data using a 1:5 scale. 5th and 6th grade needed a lot of help with using a different scale.

Today we voted on one student’s graph to represent the class on the bulletin board. We also made sure each person had they data on an index card (we’ll use this data through out the year on various projects and activities). We also took some time today to make the scale 1:25 and make a huge wall sized bar graph off all 4 classes combined data

Even though you can’t tell – the wall is about 9 feet tall. The kiddos really enjoyed enlarging the graph and having it take over the wall. Check out all of those shooting stars! We had 309 between 44 students!

This was such an enjoyable activity. While the math was not very deep, it did allow me to get to know my students, how they worked with others, coloring, food, and other distractions. I learned a ton about the class dynamics AND we generated some awesome data that we will use later in the year as we venture into various types of math!

Get activity here!

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