Data analysis can be very simple, like making a list of items and writing how many you have of each in parentheses, or creating and talking about a bar graph whose bars are higher for snowy than rainy days in the month of January. Whether the process involves specialized statistical software or markers and chart paper, what remains the same is that data analysis gathers information in a quantitative way (how many?), and then organizes it in some way that makes comparison and generalization possible. © Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative. Reprinted from Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know (2014), Pearson Education.
March 24, 2019
At the heart of it, graphing in the early years is about quantifying information in order to answer a question. That requires children to organize data in some visible way so that comparisons and generalizations are possible.
Data analysis uses math to make sense of the world. It is compiling information and describing it in a quantitative way: how many?
Do the children in your classroom know each other’s names? At winter break, are they still pointing to “that girl?” Doing activities in the early weeks of school that use the children’s own names will do wonders for building your classroom community. At the same time, you can be doing math—as well as literacy!
In this planning conversation, a teacher and coach discuss some of their ideas and concerns about a forthcoming lesson. With a coach, she discusses some of her ideas and concerns about the forthcoming lesson.
A student explains how his classroom's attendance chart is used.
This video from our Focus on the Lesson series demonstrates an activity for teaching capacity in kindergarten and preschool. Students look at two containers and try to determine which one would hold more liquid.
In this video, students brainstorm ways to sort their shoes. Later, they graphically organize the data from the sets they created.
Lyn English explains an exploratory method of teaching math. "The children's learning was extended beyond the curriculum because they discovered a lot of the mathematical ideas themselves."
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.
Olivia Trevino’s preschool class at Marsh Elementary School took advantage of all the winter weather to explore picture books about mittens. The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth and The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt are two delightful versions of the Scandinavian folk tale about a group of animals that try to squeeze into a boy’s lost mitten.