As I worked my way through Kindergarten this past year, I realized that one thing that seemed to be lacking was not the access to data and graphing information, but rather a way to spiral that data and graphing into every day math discussions. Making data disaggregation a natural part of the way kids think about math, and tying it into their math schema became my goal. After some intensive trial and error, I finally hit on a way that worked naturally and made sharing and discussing data meaningful for the students.
As is the case with teachers, when there are no resources to meet the needs of our students, we create the resources. Then we share them out! So here is phase one of my efforts to make data disaggregation a natural part of our math morning meeting every day. I found the key to the success of these data talks was doing it daily and modeling the correct language and use of the data. It didn’t take long for them to take the reigns.
The way I made it work in my classroom is as follows:
Monday: I called the students back to my table and let them choose their answer (anonymously is the key!) to the question. Then, during the day I made copies of the graph for each child.
Tuesday: We put our graph into the math section of our Data Notebooks. The original went into a binder for them to read throughout the week in math baskets. Then we, as a class, filled in the information in the first block—how many students chose each option.
Wednesday: On Wednesday we completed the number sentences using the data we had just collected and discussed.
Thursday: We wrote a number sentence using 2 pieces of the data. Sometimes we made up stories to go along with the number sentences. Sometimes they worked in partners. Sometimes they worked alone.
Friday: The students talked with their math partner about what they noticed about their graph. It could be ANYTHING that has to do with the data. Then they wrote down their observation.