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Miranda Poloncak- Graphing M&Ms Lesson Plan

ELED 433 Math Methods


Miranda Poloncak
Mrs. Ross, Second Grade, Waterman Elementary School
Second Grade
Presented on April 14, 2015
Written plan was submitted on April 9, 2015

1. TITLE OF LESSON: Graphing My M&Ms

Students should have prior knowledge of picture graphs from first grade, so this is an appropriate introduction
into their unit on bar graphs. They have studied probability and fractions and custom to the ideas of likely,
unlikely, equally likely, more likely, certain, and impossible so they should be able to interpret their graphs. They
love lessons oriented on food so they will be interested, and they fact that they will get M&Ms at the end if they
complete the task will inspire them to work hard and pay attention. They have been pre assessed on their
knowledge of graphs and most dont know how to make or read them so this is appropriate timing.

This lesson teaches them how to make a bar graph in relating it to picture graphs. It addresses that a graph needs
three things: a title, a number scale, and categories. It also has them look at their graphs and analyze on which
categories has the most and which has the least.


2.17 The student will use data from experiments to construct picture graphs, pictographs, and bar
2.19 The student will analyze data displayed in picture graphs, pictographs, and bar graphs.

1) Students will label the title, number scale, and categories on graph.
2) Students will be able to generate a pictograph and a bar graph.
3) Students will be able to read and interpret graphs.

1) To assess objective 1 and 2, will create and label a graph on graph paper. They will first label their graph on
graph paper and then trace the M&Ms in their retrospective categories to make a pictograph. Finally, students

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will transform their pictographs into bar graphs by tracing and shading in the bar outside of each of the
pictographs categories.
2) To assess objective 3, I will have students look at the graphs they have created and determine three things
they notice on their graph, including which category has the most and which had the least number of M&Ms.
They will write this on the back of their graphs.

For each group of students:
Yellow and Blue Post it notes
White board
White board markers
For each student:
A plastic bag
8 M&Ms (green, blue, orange)
A pencil
Green, blue, and orange colored pencils.
Graph paper

BEFORE Anticipated Student Responses
I will have a horizontal line with the categories packed
lunch and buying lunch underneath. I will have the title
Whos Eating What at the top. I will purposefully
have no vertical line. I will ask students to put a yellow
post it note if they are buying lunch on the line where it
says buying lunch. For those who brought lunch they
will put a blue sticky note above where it says brought
lunch. They will sit down as soon as they have done

Then I will count up each of the post its by marking it

off as if it were a number unit next to each of the post

I will ask the class, what did we create?

Once they have said a graph I will tell them that this is Student 1: A graph
a pictograph, because it represents a shape to express Student 2: A line
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who was buying lunch and who brought it. I will trace Student 3: A list
around the outside and take away the post it notes. Student 4: Pictograph

Today we are going to learn how to look at and draw

pictographs and bar graphs using M&Ms. If you get
you work done and do a good job I may give you some
M&Ms to eat, but you may not eat any of the M&Ms
until we are done.
I will scaffold how to draw each of the key components
in a graph and will show them how to do each step on
my own graph paper and then they will copy me. I will
encourage observations, but if they get too loud or if
they arent doing their work I will make this a silent

Before we write whats in a bag of M&Ms we need to
make a graph.

I will give each student graph paper and tell them that, Student 1:Why an L
every graph has an axis that looks like a capital L, Teacher: Because there are two lines that meet at one
with one line going up and down, meeting another line point.
that is flat going side to side. In addition to this L
shape, every graph needs three things.

Have the students write the number scale on the side Student 1:Why is zero at the bottom and why do you
saying, Just like when you measure, you count the count up?
ticks as the line gets longer, the higher you go up the Teacher: With graphs its kind of like when you get
line. measured at the doctors office. You have a ruler or
measuring tape and you hold it up to see how tall you
The second thing you need is categories. I will bring are. The taller you get the longer it is and the higher it
out each of the baggies but they wont open them yet. gets and if you were to shrink the ruler would go down
The next thing that we need is categories are the and the line or ruler would get smaller. So zero means
different things that youre looking at. So in this case that there is no measurement because there is nothing to

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the three colors of M&Ms each of you have, which is measure.
orange, blue, and green. So write each color next to
each of the lines that I marked. For the title:
Student 1: My title is M&M Colors
The last thing that you need is a title at the top that Student 2: Mine is orange, green, and blue
tells us what youre counting.

Then I will have them open their bags and sort their
colors. They will physically place each of their M&Ms
in each of color categories on their graph paper. They While sorting:
will start with the bottom box and moving upwards Student 1: I have a lot more greens
with each M&M they add. They will stop once they Student 2: He/she has more reds than me, thats not fair
have placed all of their M&Ms on the graph paper. I Teacher: Its not a competition. I want you all to have
will ask them to double check that the number on the different numbers of each color so that we can see
side matches the number of that color M&M you have. different ways graphs can look.

Then they will trace each of the M&Ms in their boxes
to make a pictograph.
Will have them notice that this represents the M&Ms
that were once there.

PART 4: Student 1: I made a box/bar

They will now trace the boxes around the circles. Student 2: My orange M&M bar looks weird its really
Inside of the boxes, or bar, that they have traced they tall and skinny
will shade it in with the colored pencil that matched the Student 3: Mine is really short
category. Student 4: Two of mine are the same/equal length


During transition time between math and lunch, as a

whole group I will have each student look at the graph
they made. I will ask them to write down three things This bar/color/number of circles was the tallest
that they notice on their graph. This bar/color/number of circles was the smallest
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I will model this for them with my graph on what I see. I had two that were the same number
I will note that, On my graph, the color that My____ was almost the tallest
had the most number of M&Ms was (insert a I had a lot of ____ and not a lot of _____ or _____
color), which had (insert number of that color). This color was 2 more than this color

I had the least number of (insert a color)

colored M&Ms, with only (insert number of
that color).

Then they can either say

These colors were this far apart
This color is almost as close as
This color was in the middle

If they do this quickly, I will have them as tables and

look at each others and share their three observations. Student 1: You have the same number of blues as me
Student 2: I have the most reds out of everyone
Student 3: We all have different graphs.


CHALLENGE Problem: I will have students draw four-six colors of M&Ms if they have time after doing their
three M&M color categories.

REMEIAL Problem: I will have students draw two-three colors of M&Ms, depending on how long it takes for
them, and only ask for them to identify which category had the most and which had the least.

While the school is a high E.L.L. population, my class understands English pretty fluently for the most
part and I will be explaining the directions to them as we go along. The lesson really targets a hands on approach
thats kinesthetic having them sort and draw out different M&Ms. Visual learning has a massive presence, in that
they are seeing different visual representations of the same set in placing the M&Ms in the graph as a picture
graph, the tracing as a pictograph, and a bar graph. The lesson also incorporates discussion of how students
findings and observations which is beneficial to extroverts and auditory learners. There is one student who has
behavioral struggles and sometimes outbursts when the student gets frustration, and to help the student I will try
to talk to him/her before in a friendly manner to make a personal connection that way he/she might see my
teaching, as less intimidating. I will also try to remind the person of certain calming tools that this person has had
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experience with, is allowed to use if they start to get really upset. When I lose their focus or any of the group I
will try to have them repeat my clapping patterns to get them back on target.


(Each of the students work is included at the end of the reflection.)

Gets it Has some good ideas, but Does not get it

Student A Student B Student C Student D Student E Student F
(p. 13) (p. 14) (p. 15) (p. 16) (p.17) (p. 18)
a. This student The student Student was Student was The student Student
Understands understands understands able to self- able to understands understands
how to how to correct accurately how to label how to
illustrate a measure himself; to depict a their number represent
pictograph and categories in make a pictograph and unit and pictographs
bar graphs, graphs and number scale a bar graph represent the and bar
showing great how to label and they wrote with their correct graphs,
precision in the number the correct given data. number of showing
their coloring units in a colors as The student M&Ms in the very precise
and detail. The graph, as seen categories. was able to correct drawings.
student was by how they They also label their categories. The student
able to label drew lines accurately categories Also, this created an
their from the top of represented correctly, and student can accurate
categories and their bars to their M&Ms could identify look at the title, color
identified that the in pictograph that orange graphs and M&M,
orange and corresponding and bar graph had the most, identify that which tells
green had the measurement. form. They blue had the his orange and us exactly
least number This student were able to least, and that blue were tied what the
of M&Ms, was also identify that green had a with the most graph is
with 3, and making orange and total of 3. number of representing.
that blue had connections to green had the M&Ms (with Student
the least. This fractions. I most and blue 3 each), and quickly
student took didnt hear it, had the least. that his green understood
great care to but according had the least. how to
correctly to my create the
number their teachers number scale
number key, observations, on the side
drawing xs in they had stated and could
the boxes that the orange see which of
between the and the blue the M&M
lines showing were half of colors had
that they the green, and the most and
understand he was asking which had
that the what fractions the least.
numbers are of the total
measuring up number of
in equal units. M&Ms each
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Miranda Poloncak- Graphing M&Ms Lesson Plan
I had this was. This is
student stand advanced
when we thinking going
discussed how beyond merely
doctors counting the
measure the M&Ms
students from individually,
their feet but seeing it as
upwards when part of a
we were going whole.
over this so
this may
explain why
the student did
so well at this.
b. Confused The student is Student E, The biggest This student The student is This student
about confused with who was thing that this could have confused messed up
how a title sitting next to student was really messed about how to when they
tells what the them, confused up how they set up graphs were writing
graph is influenced this about was how read their in: how to their
depicting, student. So, to label the graph due to make a title; categories,
labeling his they started off categories. the fact that how to make making a
M&M by following They got that they dont pictographs; sort of key
Madness. student Es there needs to know how to and how to under each
This was my logic and be spaces in write their represent of the three
fault; I forgot drawing a key between the number units categories. colors and
that that it and ms in the categories, and on vertical The student coloring in
needed to be circles, but that in this axis. They doesnt half of the
more specific they corrected instan0ce the dont understand box below
and used this themself after categories understand that the title the
title as my I guided them. were the that the tells us what horizontal
example. They also colors, but horizontal axis the graph is axis. I think
started to get they struggled on their graph showing us, that this was
how to create with represents making their meant to be
a title, with, identifying zero, meaning title a sort of
My what they that there are Superhero color label in
M&Ms!, but were labeling. no M&Ms. M&Ms. In addition to
they need to For the first They instead addition, the the writing,
specify what category they labeled the student but this
about their circled the one unit crossed out his messed them
M&Ms this whole box measurement categories, up when
graph is under the first as zero. Yet instead they they were
showing. underneath the they read the made a key to reading/
zero horizontal graph represent the interpreting
axis to label it, correctly, M&M colors. their graph,
and then indicating that The student seeing them
indicated the they were also drew ms as additional
spaces in counting the in all of his M&Ms.
between the circles in each circles. They
bars the as the of the ignored me
categories for categories when I told
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the other two. with repeated that he didnt
This shows addition, not need ms
that they are matching it up because the
confused with the title tells us
about whet the number units. that the circles
categories are are M&Ms.
They also
referring to. This shows
labeled their
that he doesnt
They also title as M&M
started to get Math which,
how to label again, isnt
and is stuck on
the title, specific
what he knows
making theirs enough.
about picture
M&M Math
but it isnt
specify that
the graph is
by the
colors enough.
c. Questions to Why did you Why are blue What kind of What do the How do How many
ask to clarify draw xs? and orange the M&M math is numbers tell superheroes M&Ms are
what I know least? Why did being shown? us? What does relate to the in each of
you think it Why did you zero mean and number of the bars?
was important add boxes at what does this different How many
to draw lines the bottom? zero tell us? colored circles are in
from the top of What do the M&Ms you the orange
the bars to the categories tell have? Could bar? What
numbers on us? you read your does the
the side? graph without horizontal
a key? Could line
you still represent?
what your
graph was
showing you
without the
ms in the
d. Ideas to work I might show I would work Practicing how We would I would go Going over
on next this student on connecting to label graphs need to go over how to draw
graphs at have fractions to more and over pictographs a graph
them graphs and working on measurement more in how again
determine working on the title as and graphs. they may not focusing
what is being titles to tell with the first the data they more on
represented what a graph two examples. are expressing, categories
from the title is representing but they still and why we
given to get and how its represent only color in
them to better differentiated. them, and can the units
understand the be identified above the
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role of the title by the graphs line.
in graphs. title.

B. How did your actual lesson differ from your plans? Describe the changes you made and explain why
you made them. Be thorough and specific in your description.
In the first lesson that I taught, I had issues with having too many introductions; in my second I
spent too much time on went too in depth with one; so in this lesson I had one good/simple introduction,
but knowing that I have a tendency to spend too much time on this area, I somewhat rushed this area for
the first group. I eventually fixed this but it was more rushed than originally anticipated. I also changed
the introduction in having each off the groups add onto the previous groups sticky notes, because,
unexpectedly, only one person in the class brought lunch that day and I needed a comparison.
Also, instead of having them trace the M&Ms I had them slide the M&Ms (one at a time) to the
side and draw a circle in the box where it was. I did this because they were struggling to trace the
M&Ms in the boxes, thus producing shapes that were different and did not represent circles, so I thought
that this was a better tactic. Some of the kids did struggle by pushing all of their M&Ms off at the same
time, but I would catch them, and I really tried to emphasize that they needed to first place all of their
M&Ms inside each of the boxes one by one starting at the bottom boxes and going up, then they could
move them to the side one at a time as they drew.
When I was teaching them how to draw a graph, I added a reference to how when they go to the
doctors office how the doctor measures them, to connect it to why we write number on the side. I had
on of the students stand up and asked them if their height had ever been measured at a doctors office.
Then I asked them if they measured their height like this, starching my hands out horizontally, or like
this, stretching my hands out diagonally. I said no, they measure from the bottom of the floor, which is
zero, to the top of their head, which is their height. I said that we do the same thing with graphs, which is
why we write the numbers on the side. I added this as a way of changing the pace of the lesson that has a
connection to their personal experiences.
I didnt have a ton of differentiation between the groups, in that I didnt add extra colors, because
all of the students really needed a lot of help in creating these graphs since none of the groups had
practice with doing this before. In every group some of the students messed up the unit measurements;
drew too many circles; or mislabeled their categories, so their was a lot of scaffolding, but all but one of
the students was open and egger to apply themselves. I did have the higher level try and make three

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A mistake that I added to my lesson was that I used M&M Madness as an example of a title
that they could use, which many of the students copied. While this does identify that the topic is M&Ms,
the title isnt narrowed into the fact that we are differentiating the number M&Ms we have in each of the
three colors. While I did emphasize that the title tells us what is being shown and each of the students
used M&M in their title, many of them copied me or else didnt accurately use their title to describe that
their graph was showing.

C. Based on this experience, what changes would you make if you were to present this activity again?
Why? Cite at least one way you could incorporate developmentally appropriate practice in a better or
more thorough way.
If I would teach this again, I would connect the body of the lesson to the graph that we made in
the introduction more. I did refer to it some but I mainly used it as an introduction into the topic at hand.
I should have compared the graphs more especially to show a different representation of a pictograph.
Another thing that I would change is that I wouldnt use M&M Madness as an example.
I also, would have picked a different introduction theme. I thought that there would be a wider variation
in lunch choices but for some reason only one student brought lunch that day.
Another thing that I might do is pull out a ruler and go over how when we measure. I would
emphasize that measuring is adding up (with repeated addition) the same distance each time starting
from zero, where nothing is measured, and getting higher as more units are added on. So, when we look
at these kinds of graphs we look at how tall the category is in comparison to the others. I would also
emphasize how each of the categories tell us theyre showing, which they do by labeling under the
horizontal axis, but we do not color the box underneath it nor do we make a key.

D. What did you learn from this experience about children, teaching, and yourself?
Identify two things you learned about children as a result of planning and conducting this
activity. Relate this new knowledge to principles of child development or appropriate
curriculum from your READ and ELED courses.
One thing that I learnt about children is that despite having worked with rulers and
measurement before, counting up by the same distance does not come naturally. I assumed that
it wouldnt be too difficult for them to figure out that you count up by the squares on the graph
paper, but over half of the students placed their numbers really close together with varying
distances. While all of the students who made this mistake, corrected themselves after I showed
them how they were to space their numbers, this was still a big trend in all of the groups. This

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taught me that while students have experience with adding ones, they might not be a hundred
percent sure that these numbers are equally spaced out. To fit this I might do activities where
they use unfix cubes as a means of measurement.
Another thing that this lesson taught me about children and graphs is how engaged
students can get when they are working towards a goal. While Im not emphasizing bribery, the
students were motivated in using manipulates and coloring. Catering to their interests got them
engaged and using manipulates to physically trace/draw the object really helped them
understand how to comparatively interpret the different categories, for bar and pictographs. All
the students were able to correctly interpret which of their categories had the most M&Ms in
that color. I really got to see how hands on learning with math could quickly help students
understand a new concept by showing them a real life application and process.

Identify two things you learned about teaching as a result of planning and conducting this
activity. Describe how you will apply this new knowledge to upcoming opportunities for
developing learning experiences for children.
What this lesson taught me in regards to teaching is that while it is important to have
student based learning, that certain parts of lessons need to be scaffold and shown. This is an
area where they have had little experience in creating their own graphs, so scaffolding how to
make it is essential. In the areas where I thought they could figure it out, like the number line
and drawing the correct number of circle with the correct category, often had numerous students
messing up and then since the others were unsure, they would copy them and then I would have
to stop and correct each of them in turn.
I also realized the importance of teachers mixing up their lesson structure, to regain
student interest. I realized in the first group that while the prospect of M&M was enticing,
drawing out the graph was losing some of their interest, so I tried to regain their attention by
having one of the kids step up and using them as a transition into measuring by asking them if
they remembered what it was like to get measured by a doctor. This is an experience they have
all had and in standing up and engaging them in a different way out of the norm of what we
were doing it refocused their interest. So there is a balance between using students familiar
classroom structure (in that they were in their usual math groups) and making a lesson
unfamiliar, to engage student interest.

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Identify one thing you learned about yourself as a result of planning and conducting this
While I am getting better at incorporating an introduction that I still need to find my
balance between the numbers of introductions, how deep I go into them, and the time I spend on
them. I also realized, marginally during the lesson but more after the fact, in reapplying the
introduction throughout the entire lesson. IT should be something that is used a reference that
you look back on and compare.

Student work:
Student A

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Student B

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Student C

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Student D

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Student E

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Student F

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