Modiified image of original by Jennifer Wagner

Jennifer Wagner is back with another terrific project!
This time she has us counting how many frootloops we'll find in a box,
with the guiding question: "Which color will be most common?"

This could be a very challenging task for second graders,
so we broke it down into steps. Follow along below to see what we did.
Step 1 - Weighing and Picture Graphs

This project fit in perfectly to a unit we were doing on graphing.

  1. Our first step was to use a kitchen scale to weigh the box. Sure enough, it did weigh 11 oz. or 312 grams (another term we had been learning in Math).
  2. Next, each child received a small cup of frootloops and made a tally of their estimates of how many they would have of each color.
  3. After that, each child sorted their sample by color and glued them onto a graph to create a picture graph.
  4. Finally, we shared our individual counts of each color. We found that orange and green had the greatest number and purple the fewest.

Step 2 - Individual Table Counts
and Calculator Checks

As we continued the project, our next step was to find how many of each color we had at our tables. We gathered our data, added, then checked our addition on calculators.

Here you see some of our picture graphs, table count sheets, and a student checking her work on a calculator.

Step 3 - Total Class Counts
from Table Picture Graphs

After we had our individual table counts, we then found out how many we had of each color from ALL of our tables. Below is a circle graph (pie chart) that shows our results:

Did this change our predictions? A bit - now we found that orange and red had the greatest number. Purple remained the color with the fewest. What would we find out in our final steps?
Step 4 - Counting Remainder of Box
Our next step was to count the frootloops remaining in the the box.
Each table received a portion of frootloops. Each child was then responsible for sorting 1 or 2 colors.

We had a discussion about counting with accuracy - we agreed that counting by groups of ten would be a good strategy. Once we had sorted table portions by color, we used 100 Grid sheets (left) to ensure our counts would be correct.

We then put the counts from each table on a chart on the board. Everyone took a look at the data and made predicitions about what color would have the greatest number in our final count. This data changed many of our former predicitons!

Step 5 - Final Count
We added our chart counts. Each table was responsible for adding the totals of one or two colors. We then added these sums to our Picture Graph sums and here are our final results:

What Did We Learn?
Our final data brought some interesting results! We had had basically 3 counts:
Count 1 found that more people had orange and green on their picture graphs.
Count 2 found that we had the greatest (and equal) numbers of red and orange.

This data made most of us feel that orange would be the most common color (which matched the hypothesis of the project) because it had remained the constant in both counts. BUT...

Count 3 showed us (before we even performed calculations) that the numbers for red were the largest. This last piece of information made most of us (15 out of 20) change our final predicitions.

Of course, the GREATEST number was broken :-)

The children took it upon themselves to find out the answer to this question:
How many frootloops were in our box?" And our final answers are:
1,732 (counting broken) and 1,381 (not counting broken)

Thank you, Jennifer, for a terrific project filled with estimating, predicting, sorting, counting, calculating, graphing, and fun!

Frootloops to the Max Project
Learn all about this terrific project!
Be sure to also visit Jennifer's other site -

Frootloop Activities for the Classroom
Check out these great classroom ideas from Jennifer!

Frootloops Links
Jennifer has put together some wonderful resources.

Frootloops Wordsearch
in pdf format

Frootloop Patterns
See the wonderful mathematical patterns we created using frootloops!
(Use your back button to return here.)

Create a Graph
Create bar, circle, line, and area graphs in a snap!
Students will love it - you will, too!

100 Grid
Using a 100 count grid can be a very helpful way to ensure accurate counts.
This printable 100 Grid will work with frootloops.
Feel free to email us with questions or comments.
To Window to Our World - our classroom website