Graphing January's Weather

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SWBAT look at a collection of data and organize it into groups. SWBAT determine the amount of days that we had each type and then graph it using a bar graph.

Big Idea

In honor of Global Warming, the students will graph the weather in Vermont for the month of January.

A Note to the Reader

1 minutes

This was a 30 minute lesson.  It was a day when are math class was shortened to accommodate an event going on at our school.  Although it is a short lesson, I think it is powerful with regards to the concepts taught.  

I live in an area where there is a variety of weather each month.  If you don't and wish to graph data with more of a variety, choose a location of your class' choice and keep track of that location's weather.  

Keeping track of the weather allows students to see how you can collect data over time and then find a way of displaying it and answering questions about it.

Looking at the Weather Data

10 minutes

I start the lesson off by having everyone sitting and facing the January Calendar.  

"We have been keeping track of the weather during the month of January.  If you look at the calendar, what do you notice about the weather?"  

Students will likely point out that there has been a lot of types weather, that there is a lot of cold, and other statements along those lines.

"Who could come up and count the cold days?  Who could count the hot days?"  

I continue to do this for each category. There is a video in the resource section that demonstrates this part of the lesson.


Organizing the Data

5 minutes

"We just counted the amount of each type of weather.  However, the data is still in random order on the calendar.  I would like to find a way to organize this information.  Could someone suggest a way of doing this?"

Again you will get a variety of suggestions.  You are looking for a suggestion of an organized list or chart, with the idea that the information would be organized in groups. When students can do this, they are demonstrating proficiency in that they can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life (CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4)

"I like the idea of writing the categories on the board, counting the number of days for that category, and then writing the total with the category (see the video in the section resource)."

There is also an image of the completed chart in the section resource.  The chart you create should be printed off (for each kid) for the next section of the lesson.

The students are being asked to determine the total of each category, express how they got the amount to their peers, and accurately record that amount.  "Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others (CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6)."



Graphing the Data

15 minutes

"Now that we have our data organized, I want each of you to use a bar graph to display the information.  I have set up this graph paper for you (see section resource).  You should put your name and come up with a title for the graph.  What would be a title that would make sense."  

"At the bottom of the paper are all seven of the categories." 

Even though there are 8 categories, I have only listed 7.  I want to see if the students realize that there is a missing category and then use that to challenge them to figure out which category is missing.

"Are there only seven categories?  You're right, there is one missing.  Before your start graphing, you will have to figure out which one is missing and then write it in on the graph.  What do you think goes here (as a run my finger along the y axis)?  Yes, you will fill in numbers starting with 1 and going up to 21.  I model this on the graph paper itself.  Then I want you to graph the data.  Once you are done, I want you to write two "I Notice Statements" from your graph.  You can write them right on the graph." (There is a video in the resource section that capture this conversation).

"Now I want you to find a spot in the room and graph your data.  You can use crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils to fill in each category."

There is a an example of a completed graph in the section resource.

This is an activity that will allow you to see how well student scan independently represent a set of data.  You can easily differentiate this lesson by giving students more/less starting information on the graph template.   The 1st grade expectation is that "students can organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another (CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.C.4)."

It is expected that "mathematically proficient students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They have the ability to decontextualize—to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own (CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2)."  The interpreting of the symbols for each day's weather and the use of numbers to represent the total is an example of this ability and practice.