Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Graphing to Communicate Results - Section 3: Guided Practice

While teaching this, I was surprised to see how much trouble my students had with selecting appropriate increments.  When selecting an appropriate increment for our graph, I showed them how counting by ones would only move me up 5 lines on the graph.  Students were able to tell me that this left too much empty space.  I then asked them what I might count by that would take up more space on my graph.  The response was, to count by twos.  I showed them that by counting by twos, I would only move up three lines, 2,4,6.  I pointed out that the bigger the increment just got, the less space it took up on the graph.  I explained that I am trying to take up more space so what increment might work?  The next response I got was to count by threes.  This showed me that they did not have a clear understanding of how to select an appropriate increment.

After much leading, I finally got to the answer or .5.  I decided during the lesson that because of their lack of understanding for this concept, that I needed to add a section in our notes about increments.  We added: Increment - The number you are counting by on the axis.  Large data measurements require larger increments, smaller data measurements require small increments.  I also decided to add a couple of sets of data to our morning work for extra practice and to give me a chance to reassess their understanding.

Selecting an appropriate increment
Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Selecting an appropriate increment

Graphing to Communicate Results

Unit 1: Scientists at Work
Lesson 8 of 16

Big Idea: After conducting an experimenting in the previous lesson, students illustrate the data they collected in a graph to share with others.

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Subject(s):
Science, Scientific Method (Science Skills), graphing (science) , engineering
60 minutes