## Circle Up Your M & Ms

### Rhonda Bajalia

#### Description

Have you ever noticed that the colors of M & M's aren't evenly distributed in each package? This is a fun way to show your students how to construct a circle graph using percentages based on the colors of 100 M & M's.

#### Objectives

The student interprets and completes circle graphs using common fractions or percents.

#### Materials

-100 M & M's for each group of four (in clear, resealable quart-size bags)
or similar candy pieces
-Paper plates (one per group)
-Rulers (one per group)
-Pencils (one per group)
-Crayons/markers (one set per group)
-Clear, reasealable snack-size bags (one per student)

#### Preparations

1. Gather the materials listed.
-100 M & Ms for each group of four (in clear, resealable quart-size bags)
-Paper plates (one per group)
-Rulers (one per group)
-Pencils (one per group)
-Crayons/markers (one set per group)
-Clear, reasealable snack-size bags (one per student)

2. Place materials on a table to be used as a distribution center.

3. Distribute the M & Ms, placing 100 in each bag.

#### Procedures

1. Hold up a bag of pre-counted (100) M & M's and ask students to estimate how many there are. After several responses, have a student count the actual number to discover that there are 100 M's.

2. Explain to students that they will be working with the M & M's to show how they are distributed in each bag. Ask them if the bags look like they have equal amounts of each color.

3. Ask students what type of graph they would choose to show the distribution of the candy. Students will most likely say bar graph and circle graph. If not, encourage them until they see these are the types that would best show a comparison of colors in the bag.

4. Explain to students that they will need to show the information as the percent of 100. Ask them which of the two graphs, bar or circle, would best show this information. Make sure they understand that the circle graph is the best choice for this type of data display because they are showing the portion or percent of one whole or 100%. If needed, review the purpose of a circle graph, which is to show the parts of a whole or 100%.

5. Divide the students into cooperative groups of four so that the groups are as heterogeneous as possible. Make sure ESE, ESOL, and high achieving students are evenly distributed.

6. Ask the students what they need to know about the M & M's in order to be able to construct the circle graph. (There are 100 in the bag. How many of each color in the bag?)

7. Tell the students that they may not open the bags. If the bags are laid on a flat surface, there is enough room to manipulate the M & M's in a quart-size bag.

8. Remind students that on a circle graph, 50% = 50 out of 100 (or ˝ of the plate), and 25%=25 out of 100 (or Ľ of the plate). They can use these as markers to estimate the other percentages.

9. Explain to students that they will use the paper plate as their circle graph and will divide it into percentages with lines drawn in pencil.

10. Tell students that they will label the percentage of each color and color in the appropriate section to match the color of the candy.

11. Ask the materials manager of each group to go to the distribution center and gather the materials needed for the construction of the graph. Explain that the M & M's may be consumed only after the group’s presentation to the class.

12. Give the students a time limit for completion of the graph (10 - 15 minutes).

13. Circulate as students begin counting and separating the M & M's. Use formative assessment of observation to determine whether or not the members of the group are cooperating and participating. Make sure group members are using classroom voices, staying on task, and sharing responsibility for the graph.

14. Ask specific questions of group members as they work through the construction process to ascertain the levels of understanding among the group members.

15. When all graphs are complete, ask each group to trade their results with another group, by showing both the graph and the bag of M & M's. Make sure the students explain to each other how they found their percentages and constructed their graphs. Listen to these peer reviews to make sure all group members are attentive and participating.

16. Allow time for groups to revise their graphs, based on input from the peer review.

17. Have each group present its graph to the class. As the group members explain, listen for the correct interpretation of the data.

18. As a formative assessment, ask a class member if the graph looks as if it reflects the color of the M & M's in the bag accurately. If there is an obvious discrepancy, have a student count the M & M's in the bag and record the number of each color on the board. Then ask another class member to create a circle graph of the results.

19. Give verbal feedback to each group as they present their graphs. Ask specific questions to determine whether or not the students in the group understand how the graph was constructed.

20. Discuss why each group had different results. Did each graph have similar results, or were they completely different? What would account for the differences? Why would they be similar?

#### Assessments

Use the observations of the groups as they work to formatively assess the students in each group in their ability to do the following:
-contribute to the discussion/construction of the circle graph, and
-use cooperative strategies (active listening, classroom voices).

Use the circle graphs to formatively assess the students in each group in their ability to interpret and complete the circle graph using percents.
-Commendable is a completed graph that reflects the data accurately and is labeled and colored appropriately.
-Satisfactory is a completed graph that reflects most of the data accurately and is mostly labeled and colored appropriately.
-Needs Improvement is a completed graph that reflects the data inaccurately or is not labeled or colored appropriately.

#### Extensions

1. Have the members of the group create a bar graph based on the same information.

2. Do the activity using a different number of M & M's (such as 50 or 25) and ask them to construct a circle graph.