Not only is graphing with jellybeans a yummy way to spend some time, it’s also educational; there are so many learning concepts packed into this small activity. Obviously, the main is graphing. But graphing is just the umbrella that covers several mighty and oh-so important math principles. In this particular instance, the children must rely on their color knowlegde to sort and classify the jellybeans. After placing the candy on their graphs, they will use their counting skills (one-to-one correspondence) to count and match the number of beans, in a row, to its corresponding number below.
Hello, number recognition!
Graphing also incorporates the concept of more/less/same. Ask your students questions like, “Do you have more red jellybeans or more purple jellybeans – or are they the same?” Children often struggle with the definition of the word ‘less’, so it’s best to emphasize that, “Less means not as many.”
Just a note to add: Many of my fellow teachers ask me about my policy with eating the candy. My own rule is that after the activity is completed, the child may choose ONE special jellybean to enjoy. The rest are bagged up and labeled (by my assistant) and placed in the parent box to take home.