Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snake Data Graphs

As part of our study of When I Was Young in the Mountains, I used the data chart from Homeschool Share to help the kids analyze the different lengths of snakes in comparison with our own heights. Though we were studying snakes at the time, I took the opportunity to turn this into a nice math lesson. I also encouraged them to find the length of a favorite snake or at least one of their own choice.

I used the cm graph paper from the Cuisenaire Rod Idea Book. I cut it down because it has unnecessary information in the margins and we glued it to a larger white piece of paper so the kids would not have a problem labeling it.

I also tweaked the data chart and made my own adding on our heights and leaving room for snakes of choice. Sorry about the turned picture.

We talked about proper graph labeling and titles- particularly how to set up the scale for the numbering. We had a good discussion on how to determine the scale for the graph based on the range of numbers. A common mistake kids make is to switch it up as they see how far they need to go. Start with 2s and then switch to 5s or 10s. That will make a mess of a graph. I used to see it all the time as a 6th grade teacher.

Two of the finished graphs- minus titles
As I have mentioned before, we are no longer doing Horizons Math. So, we often take something that might be minor from our unit studies and make it a big math lesson. Things are going very well. I really should post about it. I'll put that on a sticky note.

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