Beyond the Worksheet: Graphing

I LOVE to teach graphing.  It is, by far, one of my favorite math units.  It's such an interactive unit, and it can be so much fun for your students.  Like most things, it is what you make it.

There are a million and one worksheets for graphing: reading graphs, coloring graphs, answering questions, etc.  You know what I mean.  They're boring.   Here are a few ideas to get your kids up and moving around and really into graphing.

Class Graphs
I begin teaching each type of graph by making a class graph.  My curriculum teaches bar graph, pictograph, and line plot.  I get the kids up and gluing straight onto the graph.  They come up with the title and then form questions or write statements about the graph.  Make it theirs.  It doesn't always have to be Pinterest-worthy.  Everyone takes ownership over the graph.

Class Surveys
Do you let your kids survey one another to collect data?  If not, please start doing this!  It is so fun!  I have a survey packet that I've used for years.  It's not fancy, and it was created by a creative colleague of mine.  You'll have to teach them how to survey one another.  Specifically, they cannot just ask, "What do you like?" or "Which one?"  That's not what a mathematician does.  Ask, "Which of the following do you like best?"

Scoop and Graph or Grab and Graph
This is such a fun activity.  I love to use colored pom-poms, because, rainbow.  #rainbowtizeitall  You can use Unifix cubes, coins, buttons, whatever you have.  I do a scoop and graph as a class, and then I put out the materials for center work.  Fill a container with whatever manipulative you're graphing.  Add a Dixie cup for scooping, or just grab a handful.  Slip a graphing sheet into a wipe-off sleeve, and you're set.  So fun!  You can grab my Scoop and Graph activity here

Dollar Spot Erasers
I know you all buy those cute little erasers in the Dollar Spot at Target.  We're all Target teachers.  If you're not, then you're probably much  I can't resist them!  There's so many things that you can do with them, but erasing isn't one of them.  LOL! I put a handful in baggies, and then let students graph them.  This is also a great center.  You can download my recording sheet here.  It's for Valentine's Day, but Pin it for next year. 

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