Halloween Isn’t Over Yet

reeses nutrition

Halloween has math legs, and the Halloween loot your kids gathered can provide scores of math lessons long after the trick-or-treating is over.
Look again at the pictures of the two bags of 100 candies in Bag 1 and Bag 2 in the prior blog, Candy Calculations.  Although hard to count from the pictures, here are counts of each type within each bag:
Bag 1: 9 Almond Joys, 16 Reese’s, 45 Kit Kats, 30 Hershey’s.
Bag 2: 14 Almond Joys, 22 Reese’s, 54 Kit Kats, 10 Hershey’s.


The next picture is the nutrition facts for one of the four candy minis-Reese’s.


Rather than show you the four pictures with nutrition details of each of the four types of candy, we present the details here:

Kit Kat Wafer Bar Miniatures: Serving size 5 pieces (43 g); 210 calories.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures: Serving size 5 pieces (44 g); 220 calories.
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Miniatures: Serving size 6 pieces (43 g); 220 calories.
Almond Joy Candy Bar Miniatures: Serving size 3 pieces (40 g); 190 calories.


Now let’s have some fun.

The following questions are designed to provoke student/child thought and discussion alone or in groups. Learners should discuss their thinking and let others respond to their ideas.

• Which type of candy allows the most number of pieces in a serving?
• Can you order the candy types (Kit Kat, Almond Joy, Reese’s and Hershey’s) by number of calories in a serving from lowest to highest?
• How many calories are in each piece of candy?
• Which bag has the most calories?
• Which piece of candy is the heaviest?
• Which one is your favorite candy? If you are allowed 300 calories for candy, how many pieces could you eat?
• If you want to eat the candy that would allow you to eat the most number of pieces in order to maintain only 300 calories, which candy would you choose?

Halloween is the holiday that keeps on giving opportunities to learn about numbers. As long as your kids still have candy, you’ve got a chance to introduce math concepts in a way that’s easy to swallow.

Stay tuned: Nutrition labels are filled with numbers – percentages, ounces, grams, and milligrams. In future blogs, I’ll show you how to make those numbers come alive for your students or children.

Candy Calculations

Halloween cndy bag 1

Halloween cndy bag 1Halloween candy bag 2








Bag 1 of 100 pieces                                                   Bag 2 of 100 pieces

Like most kids, Halloween was one of my favorite days each year. It still is.
I’d collect a huge bag of treats, then spill and sort my spoils on the living room floor. I’d make separate piles of Hershey bars, candy corn packets, lollipops, Three Musketeers, etc. or fruit, sorting and counting to determine the size of my Halloween haul.
Unconsciously, I was developing important math skills with each bag of candy or type of fruit I threw into a pile.
Halloween is a great and painless opportunity to help children hone their early math skills – number sense, sorting, patterns, and estimation – and more advanced arithmetic competences, like multiplication and percentage. Here’s how.

Sorting: Kids will sort their stash into categories most important to them — candy or fruit, lumpy or smooth bags, what I’ll keep or will trade away. You can suggest other categories, like size, color, calories, weight, treats Mom will let you eat every day or just once a week. Remember, no category is wrong. The world needs thinkers who bring unique approaches to solving common problems.
Look at the two pictures of the loot from two different bags of 100 pieces of candy. What do you notice between bag 1 and bag 2? If your favorite is Almond Joy, which bag would you prefer the house to have for you to pick a piece? Why?

Then order the four kinds of candy by type (Most? Least? 2nd most? 3rd most?) for each bag. How easy is it to estimate the order from most to least, or least to most without actually counting?

Counting: Halloween is all about counting. How many doorbells did you ring? How many treats did you get? How many tricks did you perform? How many M&Ms in each package? The counting opportunities are endless.

Number recognition: Students can pick out all the numbers on a bag of candy – total weight, ounces/serving, calories/serving, grams of sugar or fat, percentage of Recommended Daily Value. Not only will students practice their number recognition skills, but they’ll learn about nutrition, too.

Weighing/Measuring: Grab a scale and measuring cup and let students practice weighing and measuring their loot. Does every M&M weigh the same? Do 4 grams feel heavier or lighter than 4 ounces? How do you convert one into the other?

Multiplication: At Target, a 4.4 oz. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar costs $1.59. How much would 1 oz. cost? Search each label for the total number of ounces in each chocolate treat, then multiply to determine the total value.

Math is so much fun when you tie it to a holiday kids already love. Have a happy, safe, and mathematic Halloween!

By the Way:
Bag 1 included 100 mini candies:  9 Almond Joys; 16 Reese’s, 45 Kit Kats; and 30 Hershey’s.
Bag 2 also included 100 mini candies:  14 Almond Joys; 22 Reese’s; 54 Kit Kats; and 10 Hershey’s.

Learn With Urns!

Grecian Urn

Grecian Urn

A beautiful artifact, this Grecian urn.

Around the amphora the patterns turn,

Made for a funeral, the art is so fine,

It showcases beautiful Grecian design.

With shapes of triangles, squares and rhombi,

Ancestor’s ashes don’t become zombies.

Archaeologists worked hard to recreate

This puzzling urn—it’s once again great.

Although the long-buried urn is quite old,

Diggers found all pieces –its artwork still bold.

The classic style is still made today,

As well as modern vessels made of clay.

The Relationship Between Math and Art: Robert Indiana

robert indiana sculptureAt the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Robert Indiana’s colorful “Numbers One Through Zero” sculptures, while at first seeming to be merely graphic and fun, make the viewer stop and think: why numbers? Why like this? Why these colors, this size, this arrangement?

According to Indiana, “each [number is] loaded with multiple references and significances.” His fascination with numbers, which led to the creation of multiple “Numbers” sculpture series, stems from Indiana’s “long-held fascination with the power of numbers,” ignited by the “formative experience” of moving often throughout his childhood and adolescence, and “the variety of meanings and associations that numbers can generate,” both at personal and societal levels (robertindiana.com).

In “Numbers One Through Zero” each number is associated with a different phase in Indiana’s life and the color combinations used serve to reinforce his personal timeline. Indiana originally arranged the numbers from 1 to 0, rather than the more commonly seen 0-1, because for him, 1 represents birth and 0 represents death. The sculptures have not always been arranged in this way, however, nor are they in this sequence now. They have been part of many outdoor exhibitions in cities such as New York and London, and the sculptures were actually spread around Indianapolis for quite a time before the entire piece came together at the Indianapolis Museum of Art where it was first displayed in 1992. Currently, the sculptures are arranged in a sequence to represent milestones in the artist’s life:

41- Pearl Harbor took place while I lived in Indianapolis

29- The crash which I experienced as a child on the East Side

50- Suggesting in part my hometown’s most famous institution: the last zero lost on a fast curve

76- The United States birthday every hundred years

38- My father worked for many years on this street (imamuseum.org).

The museum’s “Numbers” series is the original set, but since 1980, Indiana’s fascination with numbers has continued and he has created many more series in various sizes and materials. What numerical associations have you created throughout your lifetime?


Read more at:




Photo credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0b/Numbers_0-9%2C_Indiana.jpg

A Cool Old Canal and a Modern Bridge Marvel


Corinth Canal

Hello there – are you enjoying summer break?

I just went to Greece; it was really great!

I saw the old human-made Corinth Canal ridges

Near where the new constructed Rio-Antirrio bridge is.


Architects are masters of geometry;

Cable triangles like ship sails imagine moving free.

Construction was hard and took years to be right

The team pulled it off – what an awesome sight!


Notice the four posts in the water below,

But the hundreds of cables dominate the show.

They support the entire bridge, holding it steady.

The Olympic torch crossing celebrated being ready.


The Corinth Canal was built in 1881, but many people had tried to build it before, starting all the way back in the 7th century BCE. The Rio-Antirrio Bridge is the world’s longest fully-suspended bridge. The bridge opened on August 7, 2004 as the Olympic torch crossed en route to Athens to open the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.

rio-antirrio bridge

Rio Antirrio Bridge


Corinth Canal photo credit: http://www.supracer.com/2013-hellenic-sup-cup-corinth-canal-greece/

Rio Antirrio Bridge photo credit: Rebecca Klemm

A Mysterious Greek Box

hexagonal box greeceHey there, kids! Come, gather ’round,

Learn about things long lost in the ground.

I have lots of stories from my travels in Greece,

And pictures, too, that you’ll think are real neat.


In ancient Greece, the people took care

To decorate everything, and leave nothing bare

Because they loved beauty, in all of its forms.

Take this box, for example; see how well it’s adorned!


Look at it closely, it’s thousands years old,

Would you have known that if you hadn’t been told?

The carvings are gold, each the same as the next.

If carved by hand, after each one you’d rest!



In this hexagon box, with its six paneled sides,

I wonder what treasures were buried inside!

What’s it called, this box based on six?

It was a medicine box; the Greek word: “pyxis.”


It’s been through a lot – it was buried underground.

We’re very lucky that it was eventually found!

The world’s full of history and awesome sites to see.

I hope you travel soon, but ’til then, follow me!

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