Graphing on the Coordinate Grid-- Interactive Candy Style {Mid-Week Math Motivation}

My students and I had the best time practicing quadrants and ordered pairs with this candy graphing game!  It was easy to set up, my students LOVED playing-- giving up their break time for extra chances, and I had almost 100% mastery on this section of my assessment!  I'd call that a Win-Win in any situation!

The Set Up:
Find a space in your school or classroom where you can set up a grid.  I used a wall in our cafeteria because the blocks were already marked, but you could use a classroom wall, playground or sidewalk.  I was originally planning to draw a grid outside, but we've been experiencing some cold weather, so I had to make a change in plans.  Using the cafeteria actually worked out well.  Other classes were really intrigued by what we were doing.  I had a lot of students wish they were sixth graders!  Our custodian even gave me the roll of painters tape!

The goal is to make the grid 6x6.  You could use a single quadrant, or make all four quadrants.  You need to use a 6x6 grid because students will roll dice to find their ordered pair.  Once I had the grid set up, I taped candy bags to coordinates.  I wanted to make the game pretty enticing so I put several candies in a bag, and used a lot of them.  But you could tape individual pieces up if you wanted.  I would do this if I was setting the grid up on my classroom wall.  It would be perfect in a math centers rotation.  Use small candies like lollipops, or fruit snacks etc.  If your school doesn't allow candy treats as prizes, try pencils, homework passess, extra book raffle tickets, etc.  

I also use four giant dice.  Two of them are designated as negative and the other two for positive numbers.  Here is an example from Amazon: (Link is the picture)
(These are listed at 5.99 and you get a set of 2)

Playing the Game:
The basic purpose of the game is to get students to practice finding ordered pairs and identifying quadrants on the coordinate grid.  Students decide which candy bag they would like to go for.  They must identify the ordered pair where it lies, and then I had the rest of the class tell the quadrant.  My students then rolled the die.  If the first number wasn't correct, they got to decide the chance they have of getting candy on another ordered pair with the same x- integer.. bringing in statistics and ratios!  WOOT WOOT!

This lesson was also great for error analysis.  I put a couple of candy bags directly onto the y-axis. The ordered pair would be something like (3,0).  This would be an impossible roll for my students to make because of course there is no zero on the die.  But I didn't tell them this!  I waited for someone to figure it out, or chose a candy bag on the y-axis.  Of course it happens, and it was an AMAZING way to discuss how and why this could not be a choice!

I gave my students who didn't win a few other chances, but not everyone walked away a winner.  That is another great life lesson!  This was a perfect way to work through so many different sections of our integers unit.  It was interactive, engaging, and fun.. I mean who doesn't love candy prizes!
Thanks for joining me for a little Mid-Week Math Motivation!

1 comment

  1. This is great! I'm thinking about how I could use this with 8th grade for graphing systems of equations! Love the idea!


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