Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shake Those Beans

This week in math we are learning about ways to make 6, 7 and 8.  We always like to extend these lessons and spend several days doing some hands-on activities that reinforce this skill.  One game that we always like to play is called “Shake Those Beans”.

We must tell you . . this is not an activity that we can take credit for!!!  It was actually something that Diane was introduced to several years ago when she worked for the Wichita Public School district.  Each week the district would host Monday Math Night and share ideas and resources with primary teachers that made learning {and teaching} math fun. 

Over the years we have updated this activity to meet our classroom needs and we thought it we would share our version with you.image

Here’s how it works . . .

First, you will need to make sure that you have a set of 2 sided bean counters like these.

If not, head on over {here} to get a set.

Begin by having your students go through and shade in the numbers that are circled at the bottom of their graphs with their red crayon.  This signifies how many red beans they have in each combination.CIMG2254

   Next, make sure that each student has a worksheet, the correct number of beans, a cup and a small plate.  Model for students how to carefully “Shake Those Beans” and pour them out onto their plate.  Then have them sort the beans they rolled into two separate piles {red and white}.  Using a crayon have them graph the combination they got.  Remind them to always count the red beans first in each bean combination.CIMG2255

To download a set of worksheets and directions for “Shake Those Beans” click {here}.shake those beans peek



  1. I am excited to play this with my students. We use the Investigations program and are just now getting to building numbers. Thank you for such a fun way to practice addition skills.

  2. This is wonderful, I can't wait to play it with my students! Thank you for being so generous:)

  3. I LOVE this! Thanks for sharing!!
    It's funny how the kids can play this game (and games like this), they can verbally tell me different ways to make 6, 7, & 8 and then I hand them the enVision workbook page that asks the same thing and they have NO IDEA what to do?!?

  4. Thanks! I will be ordering the beans. Making them can be a pain. Thx so much for sharing!

  5. We are learning about making six through nine this week as well! So this activity will be perfect to incorporate into one of my workstations! Thanks so much!

  6. Thank you for sharing this is wonderful! :)
    Rambling About Reading

  7. You gals are all very welcome. A's long a's you can stand the sound of sone shaking beans you and your kids will love doing this.

    Andi...we are enVision math users, too!!!

  8. thank you two so much! I inherited a set of beans with my classroom, but don't have sheets to go with them. I appreciate it! We also use enVision, and I don't like the work for making 6, 7, and 8. This is great!

  9. Thank you. I've played this game for years, but never thought of having them colour in the red number as a reminder. GrEaT iDeA!

    Grade ONEderful

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this!


  11. Your ideas and recording sheets are always my favorites! Thank you for sharing so much!
    First Grade

  12. Oooh, these are terrific! Thanks or sharing these goodies :)

    The Littlest Scholars

  13. Thanks! What a great set of sheets for any activity that we have all done before!

  14. Looking forward to using this activity. I am having trouble printing it. The numbers are blurred when I print it out. Can you help me? Thank you!