Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Candy Corn Contest

Math-Literature Connection - Estimation:
The Candy Corn Contest by Patricia Reilly Giff

This is a great literature connection for a Candy Corn Estimation Station, as described in the book. The sneaky teacher in this story required that students read a page in a library book for each guess they submitted. Math teachers might vary this requirement to include some fun math practice as a way to earn guessing rights. Either way, incorporating the actual candy corn jar estimation is a great seasonal variation of the Estimation Station described below.

Estimation Station

Establish a regular center in the room which changes weekly. A simple clear plastic container is filled with different items each week. These items should vary in size to challenge students' developing concept of volume, as it relates to smaller or larger units. Use seasonal items: acorns, leaves, candy corn, popcorn kernels, pumpkin seeds, etc. to spark student interest. Keep a class journal of these activities in which students may record their estimates. Record the item and the actual count along with a digital picture, if possible, of the container and the student(s) whose estimates were closest. Some classes involve parents by asking for volunteers to send in appropriate items to be counted. It is important to use the same container for several weeks so that students build an understanding that size matters in estimating how many items there are in the jar.

  • Download the Estimation Station Recording Sheet.
  • Suggestions for Using the Recording Sheets:  Have students record their names and guesses on page 2.  After counting the actual objects, fill in page 1 and post it in the estimation station.  Circle or color in the student(s) whose estimates were closest to the actual count.
  • Take a digital picture of the winner(s) each week and post this picture on page 1, covering the estimation jar clip art.
  • Enjoy!!

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