Sunday, February 23, 2014

Graphing Activities & Ideas...Plus a FREEBIE!!

Hello lovely ladies and gentlemen! It has been a few weeks since I last posted. It's amazing how quickly time can slip out from under you, especially when you are teaching and trying to have a personal life as well. My husband and I have been going through a roller coaster with some medical things so my focus has been there more than anywhere else, which is my excuse for me being MIA for a few weeks now.

Speaking of time slipping away...all of these snow days have made it more difficult to get the necessities taught before the wonderful MAP test begins in late April. My team and I met on Wednesday this past week (we had a full release day) and started stressing over the little amount of time we have to cover so much "stuff".

On a side's a wonderful thing when you work with a group of people who you can joke around with, be serious with at the necessary times, who you support through tough times, or who you can be crabby with and STILL get along and like each other. The best part...we don't take it personally, hold grudges, or get mad at each other. I am VERY fortunate to work with a fabulous team as just described.

Anyways, we talked about the remaining part of our academic calendar and planned out how many weeks we are going to hit on the major concepts that we need to cover before the wonderful MAP test begins. Graphing is one of the concepts we are getting ready to cover, after we finish up with our measurement unit later this week.

As we collaborated, we started talking about different ways we could incorporate graphs within the classroom. We find that students still struggle with answering questions from graphs that are given, especially if they are pictographs where they have to determine the value of each object. After much collaboration, we decided that we will incorporate a graphing activity in the centers that we do during RTI (Response to Intervention/Instruction) time.
Groovy Graphs is a FREE activity where your students can create their own graphs and can be used universally. In addition there are graphing questions that your students can answer based on the graphs that they create.

Students create either a bar or pictograph by developing a theme and variables that are associated with that theme. They roll 2 dice to determine how many votes are given for each variable and then graph the total amount rolled. After all variables have been graphed, the students then answer the questions (included on a separate page) under their graphs. They can work individually or with a partner to create their graphs. Click here to download Groovy Graphs for FREE!!!

In addition to the Groovy Graphs activity, I also have a graphing game within my Major League Math centers that is similar to Groovy Graphs but is within a baseball theme. (Check out the other concepts that are included within the Major League Math centers by clicking on the link above.)

Some other graphing ideas that I wanted to share with you include the following:
  • Math-Aids-A coworker of mine told me about this awesome website where you can quickly create worksheets for various math concepts. I use this website especially for my lower students. Click on the link to look at the various graphing options this website has to provide.
  • Math Data Game For Kids-This is a great technology resource, especially for your lower level learners or for introducing graphs. Students get to determine the amount of tallies made and then create a bar graph that shows the amount of tallies. Upon completion of the bar graph, your students then get to create a pictograph (which even includes the key where each one is worth more than 1). Great resource for a center or to put on your student computer(s) for your students to work on.
  • You could also have your students determine a theme that they would like to survey a group of people on. Have them survey the people (students and teachers within your school or can survey people at home) and then create a graph to determine their findings.
  • Hand out candy to your students and they have to graph the candy (they determine how they are going to graph the candy). Then have them share with the class the strategy they used to graph their candy.
  • Basic Skill Practice Games-a plethora of math graphing ideas and links to click on.
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How do you incorporate graphs within your classroom? What other suggestions or resources do you have for graphing?

Happy Sunday!


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