Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jelly Bean Graphing


If you ask parents in my classroom what type of math paper I like to make the most, they might tell you that I create graphs. I like to think that perhaps it is because in kindergarten, students are really beginning to get a grasp on the fact that order can be found in so many different places as they learn to classifying objects into given categories. As students learn to count and keep track of items in each category they are working with, I notice that it seems they can't even help themselves from counting at times. As we count items in math on the day of our Easter party, I will show them a cup of jelly beans. I can tell them I have four red jelly beans and 2 purple ones. However, if you are an observer, you can look around my room and see that at least some of them are raising their finger up to their eye and pointing at my jelly beans to count them, just to make sure I really have as many as I say I do. 

In years past, I have struggled to find ways to really engage students in the graphing process in meaningful ways. I have found that the best way to get students to learn how to graph is bribery to give them something fun to do with the graphing. 

In January, I had them draw their favorite animal on a 3x5 card. They each went to a little separate spot in the room and drew their own so that no one else could see it. We then had a "Reveal and Post Your Pet" hands-on graphing activity. They were so excited to share what they made, but even more excited to see what other people had chosen and to see if it might have by chance, matched their own.

At Valentine's Day, we graphed our own box of candy conversation hearts and got to keep them and eat them later.

In March, I gave out special large clover and gold star stickers to anyone who created a special St. Patrick's Day graphing packet in their free time.

Now, for Easter, we are graphing a Dixie cup of jelly beans and getting to eat them! I have a $2 seven-paged packet in my store for two types of jelly beans if you are interested in having this for your classroom. Click here if you'd like to look at it.


Here is a freebie for you. This is similar to one of the sheets you'll find in my packet.

I would love to hear how you make graphing more fun for your students!

Jelly Bean Freebie

2 comments:

I would love to know what you think!

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