KinderGals: 3 Easy Steps to Make Your Kids Graphing Experts

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

3 Easy Steps to Make Your Kids Graphing Experts

Don't you just love the things kids say? Several years ago I made shoe graph with my kinders. After making the graph, I began the conversation by asking, "Can anyone tell me something about this graph?" The response...."Go to the river and tie some logs together. Get on it with a long stick. Then, your "graph" can go down the river."  Wow, just wow! Here's what I learned from that experience...I love teaching kinders. I love their responses. But, it also taught me that I had fallen short on teaching the academic vocabulary necessary for my kids to be successful in this activity. I needed to have explained what a graph was, why we were putting the shoes on the graph, and how we can use the graph to help us learn more about the shoes in our classroom.
I came up with a plan. Here are some things that we have done to help our children grasp the concept of graphing.
Data Graphing Center
First of all, we have a data center in our math rotation every week.  The kids love this center. They are able to move around the room and talk to their friends. What 5 year old doesn't like that?! These are preference graphs.
First, they select one of the graphing papers. Then, they walk around the room and ask their friends the question. They tally the results.
Next, they make a graph to represent their tally marks.
And finally, they analyze their data.
Our kids also enjoy the spin graphs. To do a spin graph, the kids spin a spinner. They tally the results to show where the spinner landed. After spinning a given number of times, they create a graph and analyze the data.
Graphing Anchor Chart
I also want my kids to be able to create a graph from the beginning. They are doing pretty well when I give them a graph. They are able to collect and analyze the data. But, I wanted them to be able to generate their own questions and know the steps to take from there. To help with that, I decided that we needed an anchor chart. This becomes more about the process of graphing. This will enable cross over. The goal is for children to read a story problem and say, "If I make a graph, I can figure this out."
Here's how I made the chart.
  • I copied all of the piece and glued them to a piece of poster board.
  • I laminated the board and trimmed it up.
  • When using the chart, I cover everything expect for the title with a piece of bulletin board paper.
  • Each day, as I introduce the next step in graphing, we do the reveal.
  • I lower the paper to reveal that part of the anchor chart.
  • You can always write the chart as you go! Choose what works best for you and your kids.
Then, I made this blank graph that I can add in my centers. The kids can write their own question! I would do plenty of graphs where you have provided the questions and teach the children about questions before moving to this step. Be sure and read to the bottom of this post where you can snag this free file.
Here is the same chart printed in black and white. I love that she is looking at the chart to see what to do next. Here are three questions to ask yourself when making an anchor chart:
  • Does it bullet my lessons?
  • Do we use it as a reference?
  • Where the kids involved in the making (or revealing) of the chart?
Developing Academic Vocabulary
After several lessons and discussions about graphing, we are ready to take our understanding to a deeper level. We made a chart to do just that. We follow Marzano's thinking for academic vocabulary.  The kids need to be able to give you a linguistic (using words) and a nonlinguistic (illustration) representation of that word.  I couldn't find a picture of the graphing chart, but it looks like this just except with information about graphing instead of characters.
The graphs and the anchor chart are from this unit.
The academic vocabulary is from this unit.
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Kindertrips said...

Thank you for explaining how you make your graphs. I like that the pieces are laminated and then put on as part of your lessons for the week. Your anchor charts are super cute!

Busy Bees said...

You are on a roll. I love anchor charts and have a long to do list for them this summer!

KinderMyles said...

I like your story about the raft. My class loves to spin to gather data for a graph. Having done these, sorting objects and taking surveys with pencil/paper and using the computer program Graphers (we even used your Spin a Graph and did one as a survey as well to compare), this last week of school I asked my class "if we know our question (do you want ice cream or popsicles?) but we don't already have data to make our graph what are we going to do?" They insisted we were going to sort and looked at me quite funny when I said "but we haven't collected any data to sort". Next year, I think I will create an anchor chart like yours with choices under collect data. We add words to our Math talk and discuss them and talk about our outcomes but I like detail in your chart.

Jessica said...

So cute!!! And I love that you created a math vocab packet! I may have to check it out for next year! =)

Lisa R. said...

I am definitely interested in your Math Vocabulary Journal too! I'm going to check it out now. :)

Learning Is Something to Treasure

Lisa said...

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~ Lisa

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