Friday, September 30, 2016

Plots and Plates

This week in math, we moved from displaying data on a coordinate plane to displaying a set of data on a line plot. This unique way of organizing data shows the frequency that something occurs. In this unit the students are expected to combine their previous knowledge of line plots with their understanding of fractions.

To begin, we reviewed the process of creating a line plot.  This includes collecting and sorting data, arranging the data in order, plotting the data, and finally analyzing the data. Our first set of data included whole numbers and fractions with a common denominator. This allowed the students to ease into this type of data display.

As we continued, our activities became a little more challenging. We introduced fractions with different denominators.  This is where all of the work in previous grades really paid off.  Not only did students have to identify equivalent fractions, they also had to order the fractions from least to greatest.  And to think, this was all just to set up the line plot. Hard work happening here! The students were then given a paper plate with a fraction written on it.  The students had to silently line up the fractions in order from least to greatest. Once the plates were sorted into number order, the students created a class line plot to display the data.

Finally, the students were asked to measure their pencils to the nearest quarter-inch.  Once everyone was done with that, the students used the structure Stand-up, Hand-up, Pair-up to gather classmates’ data.  Following the remaining procedures, the students then arranged their data in order from least to greatest.  They figured out how to evenly divide up their number line.  Not only did these activities help students understand line plots, they also helped students solidify their understanding of fractions.

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