3. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths

October 10, 2016


Funky, Fab and Fantastic INTRO

mathspig-at-icme-hamburg-2016Mathspig tried the m&m Algebra Challenge in her ICME 13 Workshop in Hamburg.

BUT … I bought PEANUT m&ms. OH Nooooooooo!

They were the WRONG SHAPE. Deformed m&ms bounced everywhere. All I could do was collect the m&ms in my gloved hands and hand them out to the workshop participants. They seemed to enjoy the failure.

But Mathspig does not give up that easily.

Here is the m&m ALGEBRA CHALLENGE with PLAIN m&ms.



1. Open a packet of PLAIN m&ms. (Wear white Gloves like the m+ms)

2. TIP onto table. (Put a few books around the edge to define an area.)

3. Sort the m&ms into:

m -UP pile.

m-DOWN pile.

4. REMOVE the m-UP pile.

5. PICK up m-DOWN pile and TIP again.

6. REPEAT until only 1 m+m is left.

The pattern should follow the exponential equation here:


Did it work? Check it out below.


Who knew one family packet had 366 m+ms?

You’ll find a worked ‘theoretical’ example here.


Here’s the ANSWER:


Try it. Middle school students have to see

that applying maths in the real world can be tricky but logical.

And a lot of FUN too.


One comment

  1. […] 3. m&ms and Exponential functions […]

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