However, the nicest part of being laid up on the couch is all the blog hopping I get to do! I've loved reading tons of teacher blogs this morning, and I feel so inspired! So while my boys are napping, I have decided to post about how I do my Graph of the Week with my kiddos.
Graphs are in my curriculum, but I usually don't have to spend too long on them because we work with them every single day! I can't explain it, but the kids LOVE graph of the week. Every year they get so excited when I announce it's time for our graph. Here what our schedule looks like:
Monday: We choose the title for our graph. The graph always begins with "Favorite..." Some ideas to use are ice cream, fruit, author, character, vegetable, cookie, movie, sport, subject, etc. At the beginning of the year, I give them the topic for our graph every week. As the year goes on, I let the kids have more input (this can turn into some pretty interesting graphs!). We also gather information this day. If the title is "Our Favorite Fruit Graph," they tell me as many fruits as they can think of while I write them down on chart paper.
Once we have all the fruits listed, they lay their heads down on their desk and close their eyes to vote for the fruits they like. (I have them close their eyes because I find they will vote for any fruit their friends will vote for, and our graph will not be accurate). With their eyes closed, I call out the list of fruits, and they raise their hand if they like the fruit. At this point, it doesn't have to be their favorite fruit, they just have to like it, and they can vote as many times as they like. Once I've gone through all the fruits, they are allowed to open their eyes, and we cross off the fruits that have the lowest votes. We will cross off information until we are left with about 5 or 6 fruits for the graph. I know this is long and sounds confusing, but it is really easy!!
Tuesday: This is our "quick day" for the graph because for some reason it always turns out to be a pretty heavy Language Arts day, and time is short. On Tuesday, they put their heads down and close their eyes again to vote for their favorite fruit from the list we created Monday. They may only vote ONCE, and whatever they choose is what they will be drawing on the graph.
In the picture above, you can see where the final list is written in red, and I put tally marks next to the names of fruit. I try to keep Monday and Tuesday's information on the same chart. It doesn't look very nice, but it's a great reference for the kids to see how we got from point A to point B.
Wednesday: We create the graph! I draw the outline, and the kids draw a picture representing their vote. Even though oranges did not receive any votes, I believe it's still important to include it on the graph! The kids always copy the completed graph onto our Graph of the Week worksheet, or in their math notebook if I have accidentally run out of copies (this happens more than I would like!! haha)!
Thursday: The kids write down two questions about the graph. They turn these questions in, and sometimes I use them to create the quiz for Friday! Here is the paper we use for writing the questions, and copying the graph:
**Get a copy of this paper (free) here
Friday: The kids take a quiz on the graph. I create it very quickly based on questions from the kids, or questions I think are appropriate. As the year continues, we will expand our graph and quickly poll other classrooms on their favorite fruits. When we do that, I will ask questions that compare the graphs on our quiz. Sometimes I will ask them to create a bar graph to match the pictograph's information, and other times I will create questions where each piece of fruit represents more than one student. I basically just add more things in that will be asked of them on their benchmarks and state testing.
I know this post is long, but Graph of the Week never takes up more than 10 minutes at the beginning of the math lesson, and the kids truly love it!