I like to start off this lesson, which is my unit assessment for charts and graphs, by doing a fun reading aloud that relates to the math the students will be performing on the assessment. This helps them get their minds into "math mode" and incorporates a bit of joy into an otherwise pretty dry lesson. Today's selection: "Lemonade For Sale"
If the book isn't available, there is a read aloud available on You Tube.
This is a great starter because it's a real life example that gets the students engaged and gets their minds ready for charts and graphs.
Teaching the standard MD.C4 requires students to 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. These are complex skills - recognizing, organizing and interpreting data - that can be a difficult concept for first graders. Comparing two categories is perhaps one of the most difficult concepts for students. It is important to assess the students on all aspects of this standard because it lays the groundwork for further, more complicated standards in later grades.
After the read aloud and before the assessment, I want to do some quick review work.
I write "I Love Spring Because" on chart paper, and make columns for why we like spring. For example, I use: More Sunshine, Plants are Growing, Flowers, and Rain for my column headers.
I then hand out a post-it note to each student and give them time to select which reason that they like spring.
After voting for why we like spring, we review how many voted in each column, which column has more, which column has less, and how many more or less are in one category than another.
I like to spend more time on how many more or less in one category than another because in the standard MD.C.4 one of the areas that students seem to struggle with is determining the difference between two columns. Comparing more and fewer was one of the common misconceptions of this standard. I like to review this concept in several different ways prior to administering the assessment so that students don't go into the assessment "cold."
After reviewing our chart, I prepare my students for the unit assessment.
For the independent practice portion of this lesson, I distribute the Charts and Graphs Unit Assessment.docx to the students.
This assessment covers a range of activities for 1.MD.C.4 - representing and interpreting data. When administering the assessment, I often pull aside those struggling students and allow them to use manipulatives or work through the assessment in a small group.