Centers are a place where kids participate in independent, self-directed learning activities and are engaged to learn in fun and creative ways. And who doesn’t need imaginative new ideas to make math more interesting? This creative center helps make math fun… plus, it gives kids a chance to touch, see, and taste math, too! Young students will be introduced to patterning and simple addition and subtraction skills. Plus, you could adapt the center for older kids working on multiplication skills. Math never tasted so good (seriously, my students FLOCK to this center whenever possible)!
What You’ll Need:
- Patterning, Addition & Subtraction Charts (FREE Subtraction Template, Addition Template, Gummi Bear Template, and Game Board)
- Counting/Number Flash Cards
- Dots® Candy
- Gummi Bears Candy
- Plastic Snack or Sandwich Bags
- Dry-Erase Markers
I recommend that you laminate the charts so they’ll last longer, can be wiped down to stay clean, and so you can change the numbers to keep the center new and challenging.
Gummi Bears Patterning
- Separate gummi bears into snack/sandwich bags so each child gets his/her own bag of candy for the center. You may even want to label each bag with the child’s name.
- Using the gummi bears and the patterning chart, students will follow and repeat the patterns by laying gummi bears of matching colors on each printed bear.
- When the student is done with the chart, he/she can eat the gummi bears — this is usually their favorite part! If you’ve laminated the chart, simply wipe it down to avoid any stickiness or germs, and it’s ready for the next student.
- Separate Dots® candies into snack/sandwich bags so each child gets his/her own bag of candy for the center. You may even want to label each bag with the child’s name. Students will use this same candy for the next three games. We used Dots, but really any kind of candy or munchy snack (cereal, pretzels, M&Ms®, etc.) would work.
- Write a number in each circle for the desired addition problem.
- Students will put a piece of candy in each circle equaling the written number in that circle.
- To solve each problem, students will count up all the candy in the two circles and write the sum total in the blank space (with a dry-erase marker).
- Write a number in each circle for the desired subtraction problem.
- Students will put pieces of candy in the first circle of each problem equaling the written number in that circle.
- To solve the problem, students will move candy pieces from circle one to circle two equaling the number written in circle two. Students will count the number of candies left in circle one and write the total in the blank space (with a dry-erase marker).
Flash Card Game
- This simple game focuses on one-to-one correspondence.
- Have the student say the number on the flash card, put a piece of candy on each picture on the flash card, count the candies, then say the number again.
Visit DollarTree.com to shop our Munchy Match Center idea.