Series: Ideas at Work

Analyzing Data with Surveys

NEWS014-1

At one learning lab, participants observed a fun project tradition. As has been true for years, the authors of this year’s Idea Book were in the room for its unveiling and discussion. The Idea Book allows program participants to submit write-ups and photos of activities they used to make their math lessons more engaging and to put their own spin on the research lessons discussed in the learning labs. They are organized according to the major content strands and printed in a spiraled book so that even though the program is over, these Big Ideas remain accessible and inspiring for years to come.

Since a recent session addressed important ideas of geometry, the discussion of data analysis didn’t get much attention—in the workshop, that is. However, the Idea Book includes a variety of great ways to make surveys and analyzing data meaningful, engaging activities.

Heather Duncan did a particularly striking job of explaining how she and her kindergartners at South Shore Elementary have made collecting data from surveys and discussing them a regular part of their classroom life.

Heather prefaced her description of their process by pointing out how important it is to take time to really explore the ideas and emphasize the children’s work and thinking. She typically does a process that stretches from three to five days and always ends up with a product everyone can see.

  • Day One, they collected results of a survey, usually related to a topic they were already studying. For example, while studying the human body, Ms. Duncan had them compare each student’s height to a cut-out of an average kindergartener hung up in the class.
  • Day Two, they synthesized the results. “We used the chart,
    Star icon for Common Core Alignment

    Common Core Alignment

    Measurement and Data More

    Foundational Math Concepts

Source: Early Math at Work, Vol. 2, Issue 6 • Copyright: © Erikson Institute, May 2011 • Content ID: NEWS014

More in the Ideas at Work series

ShoeGraph-3 math algebraic expressions and graphing

Algebraic Thinking with Shoes

Cindy Collado and her preschool class at Stock School were involved in a shoe project that incorporated many math concepts through a variety of activities over the course of two months. The class started by taking a good look at their shoes and then talking and thinking about what they saw.

NEWS008-1

Control Your Math Fate, Estimate!

Ellen Stoll Walsh's book Mouse Count can be used in the classroom to cover such broad-ranging topics as data analysis, number sense, and number and operations. Key concepts such as estimation can be explored and investigated.

NEWS010-1 educational math games for kids

Down with Naked Numbers

All kinds of confusion can result when children are asked to rattle off the numbers from 1 to 10 or 20 or higher without actually counting something. In our learning labs and activities we are working to help teachers find ways to avoid “Naked Numbers

Leave a Reply

Your email will not be published. Name and Email fields are required.