# Sweet Problem Solving

You can’t get much more of a real-life connection to problem-solving than this.

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The picture of the Halloween treat bags on the far right was taken on my dining room table! Every year I buy some chocolate bars and some non-chocolate candy (usually the Child’s Play mix), and I try to give each little ghost and ghoul a piece of chocolate and a couple of pieces of the other candy. This year, I thought it would be infinitely easier to just drop a little treat bag into each out-stretched pumpkin container!

Here’s the problem-solving situation I came up with:

Lauraโs mom bought one bag with 40 mini candy bars and another bag with 72 pieces of assorted candy. How many treat bags with 1 mini candy bar and 2 pieces of assorted candy can she make? What candy will be left over?

Looking at the problem I created, can you think of ways to adjust it to make it more or less challenging? Probably lots of ways! Feel free to share your version in a comment. And if you try this problem with your students, please let me know how it went!

I love this connection! Not sure how to make it more first gradish…any ideas??? Thanks Donna!

Amy Burton

I think that sounds good!!! I was also thinking of using the 40 piece bag and posing the question…How many trick or treaters can get candy if we give each one 2 pieces of candy?? THANKS! I love this!

Hey, Amy!! How about just using the bag of candy with 40 mini candy bars and put 3 in each treat bag? Let them use manipulatives (two-color counters, etc.) to represent the candy bars. I think that would stretch firsties just enough, don’t you think?

I love this! My grade 2โs are working in skip counting by twos, so maybe Iโll suggest 2 treats per bag, and see how many bags weโd get. Then ask, how many more do I need to buy so all 22 students in our class get a treat bag?

What a great connection!

Perfect!

This will be perfect for Halloween Day! Thanks so much.

You’re welcome, Beth! ๐

Here’s a challenge – “We wanted to make 20 bags, what will go in each bag?” or “Each treat bag needs to have 4 pieces of candy – what different combinations can you make? Will there be any left over?”

Alison

Teaching Maths with Meaning

Ooh, I like these!

Well, in my class the answer would probably be that there are no treat bags and no candy left over, because the teacher ate all of it.