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September 30, 2009

Hands-on Math: Transitioning to Graphing

By Victoria Jasztal
Grades 3–5

    In the picture- Two boys developing a data poster about students' heights together.

    I have posted about learning to embrace a hands-on approach in math. At first, it was very challenging for me, but I am becoming more comfortable about using various methods to make math "real" in our classroom. 

    Currently, we are are in the middle of a three-week graphing unit. We are discussing and learning more about these math graphing words: bar graph, circle/pie graph, double bar graph, stem-and-leaf plot, line plot, line graph, pictograph, mode, median, mean, range, outlier, data, observations, and variables. 

    These are the activities we have completed during the unit so far:

    IMG_3621

    The students started out by developing data questions of their own, with 4-5 options for each of the classmates to vote on. They then had to design a poster with their question at the top along with a tally chart, pie/circle graph, bar graph, and a written explanation of what they noticed about the data. Megan's question was: What is your favorite drink? A question asked by another student was: What is your favorite sport? It was really interesting seeing the types of questions the students asked. We plan on completing this activity a few more times with new data questions and options every time.

    IMG_3583

    On Monday, each student received a box of raisins. From there, they counted the raisins from their boxes, and the class made a line plot displaying the data. We discussed that an outlier is the "lonely" number that is not near the main group of data. There were a few boxes that either had less or more raisins than the rest of the class.

    IMG_3606

    Next we began measuring one another with meter sticks. We talked about keeping data consistent. Do we measure from the soles of the shoes or the toes of the shoes? We also discussed how the numbers on the meter sticks had to be in descending order from top to bottom to get an accurate measurement of each student.

    IMG_3612

    Then we made posters displaying yesterday's data. We discussed mode, median, mean, and range. The range of our data was 16 inches, from 51 to 67 inches. We also discussed what should be included on each poster, which turned out to be a line plot, bar graph, tally chart with categories, and a written explanation of the data (observations and variables). The poster below included wonderful observations and a few interesting variables.

    IMG_3617

    Questions for you:

    • What is an interesting graphing activity you have done with your class?
    • Do you focus on data-type activities a little every week or teach about data for a specific amount of time?
    • Do you have a traditional or hands-on math curriculum?
    • What type of curriculum do you prefer, and why?


    In the picture- Two boys developing a data poster about students' heights together.

    I have posted about learning to embrace a hands-on approach in math. At first, it was very challenging for me, but I am becoming more comfortable about using various methods to make math "real" in our classroom. 

    Currently, we are are in the middle of a three-week graphing unit. We are discussing and learning more about these math graphing words: bar graph, circle/pie graph, double bar graph, stem-and-leaf plot, line plot, line graph, pictograph, mode, median, mean, range, outlier, data, observations, and variables. 

    These are the activities we have completed during the unit so far:

    IMG_3621

    The students started out by developing data questions of their own, with 4-5 options for each of the classmates to vote on. They then had to design a poster with their question at the top along with a tally chart, pie/circle graph, bar graph, and a written explanation of what they noticed about the data. Megan's question was: What is your favorite drink? A question asked by another student was: What is your favorite sport? It was really interesting seeing the types of questions the students asked. We plan on completing this activity a few more times with new data questions and options every time.

    IMG_3583

    On Monday, each student received a box of raisins. From there, they counted the raisins from their boxes, and the class made a line plot displaying the data. We discussed that an outlier is the "lonely" number that is not near the main group of data. There were a few boxes that either had less or more raisins than the rest of the class.

    IMG_3606

    Next we began measuring one another with meter sticks. We talked about keeping data consistent. Do we measure from the soles of the shoes or the toes of the shoes? We also discussed how the numbers on the meter sticks had to be in descending order from top to bottom to get an accurate measurement of each student.

    IMG_3612

    Then we made posters displaying yesterday's data. We discussed mode, median, mean, and range. The range of our data was 16 inches, from 51 to 67 inches. We also discussed what should be included on each poster, which turned out to be a line plot, bar graph, tally chart with categories, and a written explanation of the data (observations and variables). The poster below included wonderful observations and a few interesting variables.

    IMG_3617

    Questions for you:

    • What is an interesting graphing activity you have done with your class?
    • Do you focus on data-type activities a little every week or teach about data for a specific amount of time?
    • Do you have a traditional or hands-on math curriculum?
    • What type of curriculum do you prefer, and why?


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