Teaching mathematics
Teaching mathematics

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Teaching mathematics

Teaching idea: Do Smarties® have the answer?

In Week 3, we discussed the use of concrete materials, including edible resources when appropriate.

In this classroom activity, learners are given a tube of Smarties® (or similar sweets with a range of colours), either one each or in pairs.

The learners are then required to record the frequency of each colour of sweet in a tally and frequency chart. Learners can use the sweets to create their own visual representations of data. Bar charts work really well – see Figure 25.

Data from each individual, or pair, can then be added to a whole- class table of results. Using an Excel spreadsheet is a good idea here.

Learners can compare their frequency charts and bar graphs with the whole class results, allowing for discussions about natural variation in samples. This will lead to the understanding that larger samples will generally be more representative of the whole population.

This fun investigation allows learners to use the PCAI cycle, while thinking about how they can visually represent data.

Described image
Figure 25 Smarties® bar chart
TM_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371