Activities and Lessons for Math

Cupcake Combinations
~ Lori Jackson

One day we had a mathematical party to say good-bye to one of our students who is going away to boarding school. I brought in unfrosted cupcakes, yellow and chocolate, and icing in two colors, green and blue. We worked together to figure out what combinations we could make then each picked and frosted a cupcake. We used paper cupcakes to color to match and created a graph showing our choices. We discussed the graph in depth, then ate our cupcakes and toasted the guest of honor with bubbly (soda). As one boy went out the door (we were pressed for time due to last minute early dismissal), he reminded me that our graph wasn't done because we hadn't finished labeling it (we did on Wednesday, once we finally got back to school). So today two of my kids were writing in their journals about this very popular party and went out in the hallway to find the word cupcake in our labeling. Along came our principal and asked the two boys about the graph. They talked her ear off, explaining the whole lesson and making nice comparisons and observations. But here's the kicker, they began their discourse with this statement, "Last Wednesday we didn't have math 'cuz we were having this party..." It absolutely made her day!

Note: This activity works lots and lots of ways - sandwishes with two jelly choices and two bread colors, bugs with two body colors and two wing colors, etc.

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