Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cookie Stacking Competition!

While student teaching in fifth grade, I absolutely fell in love with the upper grades. I discovered a passion for working with the “big kids” that I didn’t expect going into the experience. I really enjoyed the content we were covering, and getting to see my kids excited about what we were learning was the best. I love the independence, creativity, and critical thinking that happens in fifth grade. One of my favorite math units we did was “data and graphs.” We learned about collecting and organizing data (line graphs, double bar graphs, etc), and then learned about different ways to analyze data (mean, median, mode, and range). At the culmination of our unit, we had a cookie stacking competition (thank you Mary from Teaching With a Mountain View for this idea!).

The idea was simple: students stacked the cookies to make a tower. They collected data on how tall their towers got and then used that data to practice data management such as mean, median, mode, and range. We also made it into a line graph! The basic rules were that they couldn’t hold it to make it stay up while they were stacking and once one cookie fell they had to start over.


I had five teams and they did three rounds of stacking each in our competition. We even had a bonus round where they were allowed to hold up their towers! After each round, the team leaders were responsible for adding their team’s data to the board. At the end of the competition, they had to analyze the data to find the mean, median, mode, and range of their data and then of the class’ data. Finally, they had to make a double line graph to show the data. They LOVED this activity!

cookie stacking competition

Happy Friday!