## January 24, 2012

### Valentine Hearts Math Investigation

Have you ever wondered whether all boxes of Valentine hearts candies are the same? Do they have the same colors? Do they weigh the same amount? Does each box contain the same number of candies? Inquiring minds want to know! Questions like these provide a perfect opportunity for a bit of data analysis fun!

A few years ago I posed these questions to my 4th graders and decided to investigate. With the class divided into cooperative learning teams, we examined 10 different boxes of candy. We weighed them and looked at the range, mode, median, and mean of the data. Then we counted the candies, graphed the colors, and crunched the numbers to look at the variations between the boxes. As you can see from the partially completed class data chart in this post, you'll end up with lots of data in a short time that's perfect for also sorts of mathematical analysis.

It was a terrific activity for the week of Valentine's Day because they were definitely stretching their brains, but they were having lots of fun, too! This activity would also work well AFTER Valentine's Day when you can snap up boxes of conversation hearts at cheap prices. Your students won't mind a bit if Valentine's Day has already passed!

You can find this free Valentine Hearts Data Analysis packet on my Seasonal Page on Teaching Resources during the month of February. All of the files are stored in a large zip file, which you'll need to download and unzip to access the individual files. If the activity is not on the Seasonal page, you can find it on Laura's Best Freebies, a private page on my website with over 75 of my best free resources for teachers. Here's what you'll find inside the file:
• Smartboard slides for recording and analyzing data (not required for the lesson)
• Promethean board conversion from the Smartboard file above
• Student samples of how our class results were recorded and analyzed
• Teacher directions including student activity pages

Kids love to have candy on Valentine's Day, and this is a fun way to sneak in a little learning at the same time! If you don't want your students to eat the candies they've handled for the activity, be sure to purchase some extra boxes for snacking after the lesson is over. Yum!