Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let's Get Graphing

These lessons were follow-up to the graphing lessons last week.

As I felt that we'd ended on a negative note with our graphing (and I'd had opportunity to reflect as I wrote my blog post) I decided to revisit graphing again this week. One of the boys from my class asked to have a circle time lesson so I taught the Maths this way instead of a traditional lesson. (If you are new to circle time, you can check out the other circle time explanations by typing circle time in the blog search in the top left-hand-side of this page.)

Check In: My name is ... and I feel ... about data collection and graphing.

Mixer: Change places if... (you have a brother, you ate cereal for breakfast, you have Foxtel etc) The student in the center of the circle calls out the requirement and then has to try to find a place when students change places. The last one to find a place becomes the new caller.

Activity: Explain the difference between 'favourites' graphs (those that ask about favourite foods, colours etc) and other surveys (such as hair colour, eye colour, pets owned etc). Students pair off and select a non-favourite style survey to investigate.

Debrief: In preparation for the next day, show students how to enter data into Microsoft Excel and create a graph.

Energiser: Human Graphs. Students form lines according to criteria (eg. amount of teeth lost) and teacher takes photo. Upload images to the interactive whiteboard and discuss the graphs straight away.

Check Out: Any questions about graphing with Excel the following day.

This lesson went REALLY well, except for a couple of the survey topics. One pair chose 'type of car your parents drive' which was a bit tricky for some students to respond to. Another pair chose 'how many letters you have in your letter folder' which proved difficult since the room was set up for circle time and students had limited access to their desk trays where their folders were stored.

The human graph part was hectic, but lots of fun. I was amazed by the differences in amounts of teeth lost. Some still hadn't lost any, while one had already lost nine!

Today we created the graphs with Excel. I did another quick demonstration to review the lengthier explanation from the previous day and set students to work. (The reason I did the two explanations was because we only get 30 minutes in the lab and I knew a 5 minute explanation wouldn't be enough for a new skill, but as a review would work well.) I was impressed by how quickly and capably students worked with this task. They were very proud of their work and I encouraged them to try making their own graph with excel at home.

NOW we're ready to move on from graphs as they have been left with a positive, successful experience.

1 comment:

  1. Let's Get Graphing gave me fresh ways to implement the topic. Just heading into that unit of Investigations math and this will bring new life to it.


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