As you browse you are invited to be inspired and come learn alongside me, one of my goals for teaching mathematics in kindergarten this year was create opportunities for children to represent their mathematical understandings in ways that are meaningful to them – for example, by writing or drawing on paper, by using pictures and/or numbers and some words, by using materials such as blocks or stickers, pom poms.
This post is about my learning journey creating opportunities for children (It certainly does not capture the myriad of experiences, conversations, voices of the educators or children it is simply a reflection). — OE19 collect, organize, display, and interpret data to solve problems and to communicate information
A Summary of Overall Instructional Strategies I used include:
- having students generate questions that can be answered using simple methods
for collecting data (e.g., by placing stickers on a graph);
- providing opportunities to sort the same collection of objects in a variety
- discussing ways to sort objects using obvious attributes (e.g., colour, size
- providing opportunities to create and discuss concrete graphs,
- providing graphing mats to help students organize data in people graphs and
- having students conduct surveys involving questions that have a limited
number of responses (e.g., “What is your favourite colour?”);
- discussing and demonstrating different data-collection methods (e.g., placing
a picture in the appropriate section of a pictograph, making a tally);
Ice Cream Vote as students entered the classroom in the morning for sign-in. Children were encouraged to pick their favourite flavour of ice cream, each child coloured their very own ice cream scoop, we discussed the results as a class. (Instructional Strategy: Providing opportunities for students to vote in order to make class decisions). Favourite Colour this was our introduction to pictographs.
Clipboard Graphing Ideas students had the opportunity to use the various graphing templates to ask their classmates questions, or create their very own questions. (Not pictured: We placed various cutouts of superheroes, Disney movie princesses, pets, and movies-students could create their own questions using the cutouts see example photograph #5)
Posting Success criteria to describe, in specific terms and in language meaningful to children, our learning goals. This really helped in naming the learning we observed in the classroom, especially during play-based learning.
Math Words the math words that we used during our discussions were posted, this was used as a reference in conversations we had with the children. Some of our older Year 2 students were able to read them and refer to them during play.
Tally Marks Visual Tally marks are a quick way of keeping track of numbers in groups of five. Posted on the wall we had a visual of 1-10 One vertical line is made for each of the first four numbers; the fifth number is represented by a diagonal line across the previous four.
We worked on encouraging children to use tally marks as a quick way of keeping track of numbers in groups of five. The objective is that the child will understand that one mark is equal to one object.
Data collection often involves conducting a survey. When students plan and carry out surveys, they take ownership for identifying a survey question, learning efficient ways to collect and record the data, and organizing the data in different ways to make sense of them.
Tally charts are particularly useful for gathering and organizing data (A tally chart is a table with tally marks to show a valuable data set). Math Invitation: We placed various cutouts of superheroes, Disney movie princesses, pets, and movies-students could create their own questions using the cutouts. Below are some of the rhymes we used to help children remember when to cross on 5.
Classroom Graphing Mat
In the classroom students enjoyed using a graphing mat to help organize the objects. The graphing mat pictured was made by Sandy Gomes my partner in the Kindergarten classroom. If you don’t have one a graphing mat can be made using a plastic shower curtain. Grid lines can be created using electrical tape. Students categorize objects or pictures by placing them in the columns of the graph mat.
Playful Beginnings Organizing Data in Graphs:
The skills and concepts that students develop through experiences in sorting objects help children understand how data can be organized in graphs. Students learn that data, like objects, can be sorted into groups and categories.
As children develop skill and independence in gathering data, children were provided blank templates that allowed them to organize the data. Giving each child their own individual baggie of objects for them to sort and then organize independently provided them with a sense of ownership over their own work.
Concrete graph: In a concrete graph, objects are used to represent the data.
Each object is placed on a graph template (e.g., a graphing mat) so that students
can easily count and compare the number of items in different categories
Pictograph: Pictures or symbols are used to represent the data in pictographs. By organizing data into categories, it is possible to compare the quantities in
different categories on a graph.
With some of our students we introduced titles, symbols–components that help to communicate information in a graph: (this was done in small groups or one-one with children during play-based learning. Some of our learning was focused on the following:
- The title introduces the data contained in the graph.
- Numeric values into which data are categorized.
- In pictographs, symbols (e.g., pictures, icons) represent the data. Each symbol
can represent one piece of data (one-to-one correspondence)
It all began with… Sorting
(Ongoing throughout the year sorting activities were always available to children however, focused sorting instruction took place in late September early October).
Sorting involves examining objects, identifying similar attributes (e.g., colour, size, shape), and organizing objects that “go together” into groups. Along with learning to sort, children learn to classify, that is, to identify a common characteristic of all items within a group.
Read Aloud: Bear Sees Colors, by Karma Wilson
Sorting Colours and Pom Pom Manipulatives
I paired poms poms with a muffin tin and Bear color printable (from http://www.homeboundbuthopeful.com/). Students were encouraged to sort the poms, poms by color into the appropriate cups of the tin. Reinforce the colors from the story by talking about what Bear saw in each color as children sort their poms, poms. Do they remember what Bear saw that was red? Purple? And so on.
First, we tried the sorting activity in the Sensory bin and then placed it on the table, during play-based learning, this time the pom poms, could be sorted in whatever way the students wanted using the wooden trays.
I learned that students progress in their sorting skills when they are encouraged to find different ways to sort a variety of materials, when they observe how others sort materials, and when they reflect on different ways to sort materials. Some questions I had handy to help me extend their sorting:
• “How did you sort these objects?”
• “How are these objects alike? How are these objects different?”
• “Why does this object belong here? Why does it not belong here?”
• “Which other objects belong in this group?”
• “What name could you give to this group?”
• “How could you sort these objects in a different way?”
• “How did Anhil sort the objects?”
(adapted from A Guide to Effective Instruction in Mathematics Kindergarten to Grade 3)
What I have learned:
Throughout the day, we can create an effective environment to support young children’s learning of mathematics by providing mathematics experiences that focus on particular mathematical concepts and by identifying and embedding significant mathematics learning experiences in play, daily routines, and classroom experiences.