Math Monday - Problem Solving with Hot Chocolate

I am happy to be linking up with Deidre at A Burst of First for her Monday linky...

I wanted to share with you one of my favourite math activities for December. The last week of school before Christmas break we usually have a class party that involves a hot chocolate bar. To make this activity relate to learning before hand we do some hot chocolate math.

I give my students a problem in which they need to find all the possible combinations of hot chocolate that can be made.

For the first problem I let them figure it out how ever they want. I have them work in pairs and share their ideas with other pairs. Then we come together as a whole group. The focus is on the students  articulating their strategy and for them to prove that they have found all the possible combinations. From this discussion we create an anchor chart highlighting our learning. We focus our anchor chart and discussion on evaluating the strategies and I steer them toward a consensus that organized strategies work best.

Then I introduce them to tree diagrams. I show them how to solve a similar problem using a tree diagram strategy. We work through the problem together. We add tree diagrams to our anchor chart.

Later I give them another similar problem and encourage them to use a strategy from our anchor chart that we agreed was organized and led us to finding all the possible combinations.

Before the party I often have my students use the ingredients from the problem to create their ideal cup of hot chocolate. They do a little writing explaining what they think makes the best hot chocolate.

On our party day they create a great cup of hot chocolate using the ingredients provided at the hot chocolate bar. I use my crock pot to keep the hot chocolate at the perfect temperature instead of burn your tongue hot.

If you would like to check out my hot chocolate math problems you can pick up a free copy at my TpT store.

I am also going to link this up with Charity for her Manic Monday freebie-a-thon :)

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. I love this idea for looking at outcomes and tree diagrams. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Tricia (Bookish Ways in Math and Science)

  2. Oooh! Anything to do with chocolate will spark their motivation for sure! It will be a fun way to present combinations and make a great writing activity, too! Genius!!!

  3. What a great activity! It was so cold and windy here today some hot chocolate would have been perfect!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  4. I think the kids in my after school tutoring will love this! (They are the only math group I teach!) This will be perfect right before break. Thank you for sharing!

    Eclectic Educating

  5. I can't even tell you how excited I am about this! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  6. What a delicious post! I am for sure telling my third grade neighbor about this. She will love it! I so appreciate you linking up.
    A Burst of First

  7. catching up on my blog reading... I love this!! Thank you so much for sharing this! :)


Back to Top