ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Marshmallow subtraction

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marshmallow subtraction

It's that time of year here in cold nights and hot cocoa by the fire!

 I first got the inspiration for this from Primary Perspective.
We've been really working on subtraction this week and so I thought I'd incorporate our favorite food and drink into a little problem solving.

Clipart and/or fonts are copyright DJ Inkers and used with permission:
  • Baggies
  • Marshmallow
  • Recording sheet {I enlarge it to 11X17}
  • (Mug handle) small  rectangles {construction or scrapbook paper}- 2"X2" 
  • (Mug) rectangles {construction or scrapbook paper} - 5"X"4" 
  • (Cocoa) brown rectangle 2"X4"

1. I give each student a bag of marshmallows {anywhere between 10 and 20} and the first thing they do is count their marshmallows and write how many they have on the first line.
2. They can then make their mug.  The students just have to cut out a handle {I tell them to cut a "C" out of the small red rectangle}, cut the cocoa {make squiggly lines at the top}, and glue it onto their paper. They'll glue it on the right side.
3. Then, the students decide how many marshmallows they want in their hot cocoa.  They take that amount out of the bag and glue onto their cocoa and write the number on the 2nd line.  
4. Next, the students will count how many marshmallows are left in their bag. They write the number sentence on the bottom.
5. Last, you'll tape their bag of leftover marshmallows to the left side of the paper.

Click the picture for the download

Hope you can use it in your classroom or home!
 For more math ideas, check out my "It All Adds Up" posts {here}.
Happy Holidays!!!!


  1. What a fun activitiy!!! Math & Food = best combo!

    Thanks for sharing!!!!!

    Happy Holidays!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

  2. I think this activity implies that ALL of the marshmallows will be accounted for.... hmmmmm. Maybe. Maybe not. :)

  3. Love this idea!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

    Swamp Frog First Graders