Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creating Line Graphs... Concrete Style!

My 6th graders are having a hard time with line graphs.  It's hard for them to plot ordered pairs, connect the dots and understand what they are looking at.  As I was sitting on the couch looking through some books, I came across an awesome idea....AND I LOVE IT!!!!

The book is called Hands-On Math!  Ready to Use Games and Activities for Grades 4-8.  (Long title... I know... BUT it is sooooooo worth it!!!)
The great thing about this book is that it teaches each concept in 3 different ways: concrete, pictorial, and cooperative groups.  Some things... well most... you have to make except for the pictorial, but the ideas are non- stop, easy to implement, and they home-run hit the point across.  Not to mention the book has tons of higher order thinking questions to keep the students engaged.  

Now that I have done my endorsement-unfortunately I am not getting paid :) --let me tell you about the idea!!

Focus Leslie..... Line Graphs....

So the idea for the concrete method was to buy a peg board, and using golf tees, plot coordinates.  Then use some yarn to make your line for your graph!! After reading I had a huge smile on my face..... YES!!! This is what my students NEED!!!  So I went to Lowe's (puffy heart them), and bought a sheet of peg board for $10. They cut it for FREE into 8 sections of 24"x24".  Each group can have a board.  Then I raided my husband's golf bag.... and finally found some yarn in my closet.  This project cost me $10.77 (tax included).
I am going to put a container under each peg board so it gives the golf tees room to go through the hole.
Plot your coordinates using golf tees.  You can use adding machine tape or sticky tabs to place numbers on the rows and columns.
Up close look at tees.

Next, get your yarn.

Tie it once around the first peg.
Go around all your pegs in the correct order, and then.....
You have your CONCRETE model of a Line Graph!

Students can then write about the trend that took place.  First the trend (line) began to decrease.  Then it increased rapidly.  It decreased a little again, but then held steady for a while before the trend decreased rapidly.  I CAN NOT WAIT TO SHARE THIS WITH MY KIDS!!!! I'm already thinking that I might give them the words and they have to make the line match what I say, or give them a chart and they have to graph it and also place their numbers and labels.  Ideas are going..... Fun fun fun...

Happy Teaching and "Crafting"!!!

1 comment:

  1. This is so cool. I'll have to try it out this year. Yay!