We love Halloween. And who doesn’t? From the spooky storytelling, to costume contests, to counting candy, Halloween is chock full of fun. And real-world math! This month, DynaMath goes behind the scenes at the Smarties Candy Company, to see how math keeps the family business going after more than 60 years.
We turned our experiences into five real-world math lessons that can be used together as one Halloween-themed unit, or on their own as separate materials. We hope you have fun with them!
Video: Inside a Smarties Factory
“Math touches every aspect of the candy-making process,” says Liz Dee, who runs the Smarties Candy Company along with her family. In this exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Liz takes us on tour around the factory to see how the candy is made. Check it out on our YouTube page.
Article: Smarties by the Billions
Do you know what it takes to make 2 billion Smarties candy rolls a year? A lot of math! (And sugar.) The three women running the Smarties Candy Company use powers of ten in their everyday job. It’s pretty sweet! Download the article for free here.
Video Lesson: Powers of Ten
The New Jersey Smarties factory produces over four million candy rolls each day! But how big is 4 million? Understanding the value of this number is a great elementary math lesson. Our Smarties-themed short video lesson explores this math concept using place value charts and powers of 10. Watch it out on our YouTube page.
Skills Sheet: Multiplying and Dividing With Powers of 10
Reinforce your students’ understanding of powers of 10 with this downloadable instructional skills sheet. They’ll write and solve multiplication and division expressions for multidigit whole numbers related to real-world candy production at the Smarties factory. Download the skills sheet for free here.
Math Investigation: Shipping Smarties Like a Smarty!
Say you need to ship a bunch of Halloween candy. But how do you get it to where it needs to go? This project-based math investigation gives students the opportunity to apply their math problem solving skills to a real-world situation. They’ll use words and numbers to make decisions on how to ship Smarties for a Halloween party. Download the skills sheet for free here.
We’re all looking forward to Halloween here at DynaMath, and we hope you have a happy and safe holiday!
Not yet a DynaMath subscriber? Order here. Trick or treat!
Jeanette Ferrara is an editorial intern at DynaMath and a recent graduate of Princeton University. She’s currently pursuing a Master's in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting from New York University.