### Candy Hearts Quality Control: A Valentine's Day Data Activity

How much does your class LOVE math??  As Valentine's Day fast approaches, I am looking for ways to keep my students engaged in the math test prep at hand as well as combat the pre-vacation excitement that so often hinders productivity in my class.  This Friday is the 13th, and as we approach a day so fraught with ill will, I am hoping we have a 'lucky' day in spite of the superstitions! Add that to all of the additional sugar in the form of chocolate and candy hearts that my students are ingesting this week and I have a recipe for disaster on my hands!  This year, I've decided to make the sugar work for my literacy and my math instruction.   I want to share with you my HeartSmart data analysis activity for math.

For this activity, you need the data collection sheets attached here Download Valentine hearts project as well as enough mini-packages of conversation hearts for your class (or for partners to work together).  I like using the little packages because it keeps the data manageable as well as the hearts clean for eating later after a job well done.

To complete the activity sheets, students are asked to put themselves in the shoes of a Quality Control Official at a candy hearts factory.  They have to complete various data-gathering and analysis activities to  help their employer ensure that the factory's candy production stays up to snuff.  I also found candy heart computer paper at the dollar store and copied the data sheets onto the special stationery to add motivation to the project.

This activity incorporates math skills in the following areas: tallying and modeling data, data landmarks (maximum, minimum, range, median, and mode), ratio, percentage, pie graphs, and bar graphs.  I picked and chose which activities appeared on my students' sheets based on their readiness and needs, and it was very easy to cut and paste to customize the worksheets.  Then, each student gets to work on his or her own level and can complete the activity independently or with just a little bit of help.  Feel free to customize these sheets for use in your classrooms!  How are you celebrating Valentine's Day in educational ways?  Share your ideas and project suggestions here!