Graphing is one of my favorite math subjects to teach! My students and I spent two weeks tackling this topic, and in this post, I’ll give you ideas you might be able to use in your classroom, and links to my favorite resources to make graphing fun and interactive!
Before getting started, my students and I set a 2-week class goal stating “I can make and read graphs”.
I wrote this on our objectives board and it is what we referred back to every day during math time. (Doing this helps my students know WHAT we are doing, and WHY!)
|Our objectives whiteboard! (This picture wasn’t taken during our graphing weeks, however.)
First, we learned about a few types of graphs. There are many types of graphs, but we stuck with bar graphs, tally graphs, pictographs, and pie graphs. I hung up Primary Punch’s awesome graphing posters to help us remember the various types!
Grab Primary Punch’s FREE graphing posters by clicking the image below:
(pick and choose which ones you use).
Then, after reviewing the various types of graphs (because the kindergarten teachers at my school are rock stars and all my students still remembered most of them), we began reading them!
We used these free Data and Graphing Practice Sheets from ChilliMath on Teachers Pay Teachers to practice reading graphs and answering questions about them. We did most of this as a whole group, but I also pulled groups of students to my guided reading table to do them in a math-workshop way! I let students do a few of the easier ones independently, but only after they had done some with teacher help.
Here are 2 of the 7 practice sheets:
Download the practice sheets HERE:
By this point, most of my students had a good understanding of graphs, but it never hurts to continue to teach the concept! I showed this FREE Brain Pop Jr. video about Tally Charts and Bar Graphs to reinforce our class math goal!
*If you don’t have a Brain Pop subscription, don’t worry because this video is available to anyone for free. You can show it to your students as a quick review and then have them turn and talk to the person next to them about it!
After learning about the types of graphs, reading the graphs, and continuing to review the topic, we made our own graphs! I created a Class Bar Graph Data Book
so that my students could each get a different graph, and collect data about their classmates.
I read through the 23 survey questions, and then let students come up one-by-one and either tell me a specific one they wanted, or if they didn’t care which one they got. I also gave them a class list so they could make sure to ask each student their survey question.
I let my students “loose” for a good 15-20 minutes to complete this activity, and let me tell you— THEY LOVED IT! My students turned their graphs in as they finished, and started working on a math center.
This is what my students do when they finish their required math work– it makes spiraling math content so easy, and it allows for my students who are still working to not feel rushed!
When I received all the graphs, we talked about the results, and then I laminated them, bound them, and placed the finished book in our classroom library. My students always have it off the shelf because they enjoy seeing their work “published,” but they also want to know which categories won!
To wrap up our graphing unit, we got to play a fun and interactive game on our SMARTboard called Fuzz Bugs! — It’s a graphing game available for FREE on ABCya.com.
I had my students sit on the carpet and show me their best behavior to get picked to go up and help play the game. It was TONS of fun!
I hope some of these ideas and resources make your life easier and your graphing units more interactive and engaging! Let me know in the comments how you like to teach graphing and what resources you are using!