Get your Graph On!

Thanks for stopping by!  I have a lot going on in the classroom right now and I am having a hard time getting inspiration to blog.  Tonight it struck me that I should just keep it simple and talk about what we have been doing during our Graphing unit lately.  Get ready for a practical post!

Graphing is a skill that usually comes fairly quickly for students.  They work on it a lot in Kindergarten.  When teaching it I always start with concrete graphs - we make graphs with ourselves which the kids love!  We look at our clothing, our hair, our shoes etc and sort ourselves out and make a graph using the tiles on the floor as the spaces to stand on.  Next, we pull out the math manipulatives and start making concrete graphs at the tables.  I like to use a ruler as a 'starting line' so that students can clearly see where the objects go.

Collecting primary data is another skill that requires a lot of practice and I  do a lot of whole group work around that skill to prepare them for asking their own questions and conducting a survey.  I like to make the surveys applicable to our classroom lives so students see the real reason for doing this in real life.  Recently, we maxed out our champ on Go Noodle (we love that site) and needed to choose a new champ.  This was a great opportunity to conduct a survey.

After lots of whole group opportunities I introduced centers for independent practice.  During this time I work with one group of students while the others are working at their centers.  We always spend a day exploring the centers beforehand to make sure that "most" students can be independent. I try to ensure there is at least 1 "teacher" who can help those who are stuck, in each group.

Graphing boxes are one of my centers.  There is  a collection of boxes filled with small items: erasers, beads, pom poms, gems etc.  The Dollar Store is the perfect place to find things to add  your graphing boxes.  The students create the concrete graph with the objects and then translate that information into a bar graph or picture graph.  

My Grab and Graph center is another center we use to practice making a concrete graph, then a bar graph.  At the bottom there is opportunity to practice communicating about the graph to explain what the data tells. There is little reading to be done on the page so it makes it easier for your early readers and writers to complete with independence.

Grab and Graph Math Center
My Spin and Graph centers are also a big hit since they involve using dry erase markers.  Everything is more fun with markers, according to my students.  The worksheets for this center involves a bit more writing so it is perfect for those students that are ready to handle more writing.  Some of my non-writers often draw the picture on the line to communicate their thinking.  

Spin and Graph Match Center
Would you like to see what we did next?  Head to the second installment of Get Your Graph On over {HERE} 

Before you go I wanted to share with you a graphing freebie that we will be using in a few weeks on Valentine's Day.  I love, love, love it!  It really gets kids to slow down and look at their valentines.  In the past I was disappointed in the way the kids rummaged through their cards in search of treats and other special things.  Last year they contentedly looked through their cards, made judgements about what category worked best and completed their graph. It was a proud teacher moment.  Click on the photo to head over to my store to download it.  

Until next time,

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