Reflection: High Quality Task 'Tis the Chees'n Pasta Graphing - Section 3: Independent Practice


Graphing is one of the things, like patterning, which used to be a “big deal” in kindergarten.  With Common Core, graphing isn’t quite so big anymore—it’s just part of K.CC.6.  Back in the day, we graphed everything!  It was that classic “get to know you stuff”—how do you get to school, how many letters are in your name, etc…  (My first year at my school, with the vast majority of students coming from Native American or Hispanic backgrounds, I did a “What is your eye color?” graph that contained literally every student with brown eyes!  Oh my… one of my finer teaching moments, for sure!)

Back to graphing in the era of Common Core---graphing is a great way to compare numbers.  For visual learners, it’s so nice to clearly SEE the difference between two categories.  To really “hit” the standard, asking questions to get kiddos comparing to groups is key.  I love this part of graphing activities, but to get to every kid, it’s about moving fast and making moments count.  I’ve never tried speed dating, but I’m guessing it’s a classroom equivalent of speed dating.  It’s speed checking! 

I have a kind of geeky ability to hang on to minute details about students.  I can tell you, for instance, who can build a graph but who has trouble with interpretation.  I can tell you who knows the concept “more” but struggles with “same.” My point is not to confess my geeky tendencies, but to stress that if you don’t naturally keep track of teeny details about your students, take notes on  sticky notes or on a clipboard!  The answers help you learn so much about the kiddos and really drive future learning.

  It's all about the questions!
  High Quality Task: It's all about the questions!
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'Tis the Chees'n Pasta Graphing

Unit 5: Comparing Numbers
Lesson 4 of 9

Objective: SWBAT design and record a graph using holiday-shaped pasta.

Big Idea: This fun, inexpensive activity using seasonal pasta from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese helps students compare numbers and can be reused again & again.

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