Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thanksgiving Graphing Galore!

The week before Thanksgiving (and two days prior to) was a perfect time for the kids to do some fun data and graphing work focused on the data standards outlined in the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.  First students brainstormed survey questions that could be used to collect some data about Thanksgiving.  They narrowed the questions down to four--Where do you spend Thanksgiving?, How do you cook your turkey for Thanksgiving?, What kind of meat does your family eat on Thanksgiving?, and If you lived back in the time of the Pilgrims, would you rather have been a Pilgrim or an Indian? 

Four groups were formed and students then surveyed three second grade classrooms and the staff members in our school. Results were counted, tallied, and then graphed.  Students used a wonderful online program called Create a Graph to create bar graphs. Their graphs were shared with those who took the surveys, and they were also used as a means of assessment. 

The photos below show students using a laptop, PC, and iPads to create the graphs.  One group was creating their graph on the computer hooked up to the SmartBoard, so this served as a model as students were guided through the use of the program to display their group's data.

Why Create a Graph? It's user-friendly, free, web-based for access anywhere, and graphs can be emailed and printed.  When graphs are emailed, this gives students the ability to visit a link where their work is saved and can be edited after they have logged off of the computer. My students created their graphs as I guided them through the steps (this was thier first time). 

Here is an example of a finished bar graph created by one group of students.

Much rich discussion took place about the graphs created by each group as they were displayed on the SmartBoard.  Students created questions about their own graphs and answered the questions of others at various levels of thinking.  This is definately an exploration that I will do again with students... Learning and fun was had by all!