I'm going to start with my "snack" philosophy. If we are going to "do" snacks, everyone needs to have one and we all need to be eating the same thing. I have this philosophy for two reasons...
1. Some parents may overachieve for their children in the snack department.
2. You never know who may be hungry in your classroom.
Thus, SNACK MATH was born! Parents are asked to send in a countable cereal. We do it everyday. A box usually lasts a week. I don't do a sign up or anything like that. I just put a small note in my weekly newsletter when we need more and parents send in boxes as needed.
At the designated time of the day, we pass out tissues for counting mats and everyone gets a scoop. It makes a GREAT math manipulative that everyone loves! We sort, group, count, share our numbers, and eat. I walk around while we share our numbers and get a quick check on the skills we are using that day.
In the beginning of the year we start with grouping in 2s doing odd and even numbers before we even count the cereal. Then we progress to counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s.
*Trix works best for tens and place value because the pieces are smaller. This really is the best real life manipulative I have found for place value! Because as we all know, items don't normally come in nice and neat rows of ten.
We also use the cereal for adding, subtracting, story problems, and math journal writing
It is a hands-on, active, and engaging learning activity that the students enjoy!