What's at the End of the Rainbow? - Skittles Math

Skittles Activitiy

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An optional piece to this activity is to take photos of students as they work through the project. Remember to have your camera out and ready during student work time!

1. Visit your local supermarket or store and purchase your bags of fun-sized Skittles. Remember, you can either purchase one per student, or one per small group – depending on how you would like to organize your students. If you are unable to find the snack-sized bags, you can purchase the larger bags and portion them out for your students. (REMEMBER…you will need to portion them into 20 gram servings.) You may also want to get one extra bag - your "Secrect Skittles" bag. This bag will remain sealed until Step #7 when students use their class data to predict the contents of the bag.

2. Distribute the Data Collection sheet to your students and review for understanding. (Please see the note in step 3 below in regards to the sheets.)

3. Prior to any counting, have students estimate how many Skittles they think are in their bag. You many also want to have them estimate the actual colors. If you choose to estimate the colors, please be sure to use the correct Data Collection sheet. (This information will not be shared with other classes, but it will be a good teaching point for you and your students.)

4. Once the estimating is complete, have students open their individual bags and count their Skittles.

5. After students have used the Data Collection Sheet to record their total number of Skittles, they are ready to sort the Skittles by color. Once students have their sorting complete, they will need to record their numbers on the Data Collection Sheet.

6. Once students have their bag totals and individual color totals calculated, they will share out each of these totals. Once students add these numbers, you will have a class total of ALL Skittles and EACH color. (Students will only record the FINAL class totals on their Data Collection Sheets.)

7. Once all of the calculating is complete, take some time with your students to discuss and compare/contrast their estimates with the actual measurements. Estimating can be a difficult skill for both kids and adults, so taking time for this step is important. At this point in time you will also want to examine the contents of "Secret Skittles" bag. Encourage students to use the class data in order to predict the contents of this bag.

8. You and your class are now ready to share your data with the world! You will enter the following data online: the class TOTAL of Skittles and the class TOTAL for EACH color. You may want to do this as a whole class, so they can see the process, or you may do this on your own away from students. Visit this URL to enter your data:
(Remember, this page is password protected so you will need to refer to the email we sent you.)

9. As project participants begin to share their data, visit the "Showcase" page to view the data in a spreadsheet and have your students make comparisons to what other classes post.

10. Remember, an optional part of this activity is to post photos of your students working on counting and sorting their Skittles, so don't forget to email us the link to your photos!

Data Collection Sheet A - Use if estimating each color in bag. (created in Word - incase there are any changes you would like to make)
Data Collection Sheet A (created in PDF - is not editable)
Data Collection Sheet B (created in Word - incase there are any changes you would like to make)
Data Collection Sheet B (created in PDF - is not editable)

Printable Directions for the Activity

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