Just a note on the M&M activity. You may already have done it this way, but it never occurred to me to until I saw it done by Dr. Chris Moersch (National Business Education Alliance in Corvalis, Ore.).
Chris works with the "Labs for Learning" modle for integrating math, science, social studies, etc. Labs for Learning seems to be better known in science circles than in math, but it supports math very well. His spin on the M&M activity is as follows:
Before you begin the activity, assign an attribute to each color of M&M. For example, suppose you decide that the different colors represent trees and that the bag is a sampling of a forest. Red might be oak, brown could be hickory, tan could be beech, green = pine, etc. This turns the activity into a simuilation rather than just a probability activity. (A little research before the lesson would allow the teacher to assign the attributes in rough proportion to the actual ratios in nature.)
Chris points out that, as valuable as the lesson is for teaching probability, kids are likely to remember it as the M&M activity. Assigning meaning to the colors make it an environmental activity. (Assigning voter preferences to the colors could make it into a social studies activity. The possibilities are endless.) It seems a good way to do a wonderful probability lesson and connect to the other subjects simultaneously (Mathematics as Connections?)
What do you think?
On Thu, 13 Jul 1995, Mike wrote:
> I am responding to Jerome Albani's<firstname.lastname@example.org> message > concerning a cooperative learning activitie which M&M's. The activity > was used with 7th and 8th graders. Jerome do you have any advice > regarding how to get 7th and 8th graders to work cooperatively. I'd > appreciate any help you could give. > > Thanks, > > Mike Stull > <email@example.com> >