Monday, May 31, 2010

Math Monday -- Data Management and Probability

In Kindergarten children sort, classify and compare objects and describe the attributes used. They collects objects or data and make representations of their observations, using concrete graphs. They answer and ask questions about their data and the graphs, and use mathematical language in their discussions.

Graphing activities for kindergarten include collecting data and organizing it in a variety of ways.

When children walk around the classroom and ask their friends which cereal they prefer, put a tally mark under the cereal picture, and count how many tally marks are in each column, they are not only graphing but also working with statistics or data analysis. There are lots of fun things to do in this area of math and the activities integrate well with science activities.

Graphs make counting and comparing meaningful and provide opportunities to bring numbers, letters, letter sounds and other literacy skills to the children's attention.

When children are making guesses about what might happen in different situations, they are learning about probability.

The children should have experiences:

  • collecting information
  • counting and making tallies
  • surveying peers
  • sorting objects
  • making graphs with real things and making picture graphs
  • reading graphs
  • making observations from a graph
  • working with tally marks and comparing their results with a friend's results
  • asking questions about graph results
  • using the terms "never, sometimes, always"
This graph is one of our "entry" activities. Each child has a name card and they pick it up upon entry and answer the question. This question was from shortly after we visited the farm and each child had an opportunity to touch a chick. As you can see, not all of the children opted to touch the chick! We talked about how many people had says yes, they had touched a chick and how many people had not touched a chick. Then I asked the hard question: How many more people touched the chick than didn't touch the chick? (4 more). This is a tricky one, but we have done it lots of times, so most Sk students and some Jk students understand it.

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