Does the term data analysis make you yawn, like me? Looking at and analyzing data can be a pretty dry activity. It’s not nearly as fun as teaching and learning multiplication, but third graders have two math standards that they need to master, and you need to teach. So, how can we make it more fun to learn and review?
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There are four skills that third-grade students need to learn about data analysis:
- Using a data set with several categories to draw picture graphs
- Using a data set with several categories to draw bar graphs
- Solving one and two-step problems of “how many more”, and “how many less”
- Generating measurement data and showing the data on a line plot
Using Data Sets
Before drawing graphs, students need to know how to read, understand, and interpret information from a data set.
The examples shown below are typical of tally charts and data tables used to teach students how to read and interpret data:
Favorite holidays and ice cream are engaging subjects to collect data on, so give your kiddos some clipboards and let them interview their classmates!
Picture Graphs and Bar Graphs
Your students can use data from a tally chart and data table to draw picture graphs or bar graphs.
The two graphs are simple bar graphs with multiple categories required by the math standard. The numbers used should be reasonably small so that students are not overwhelmed with fitting large numbers on the axis.
Tip: Use graph paper, either large or regular-sized squares, for this. It will save time and headaches! It’s hard to draw nice straight bars for a graph!
Students will also need to measure objects and create a line plot to represent them. This picture is an example of a line plot:
Solving One and Two-Step Word Problems
This is part of the standard that can be tricky for kids, but it confirms for them why they are reading data charts and drawing graphs. It shows them the WHY.
Examples of questions are:
- How many more people like Christmas than Halloween?
- How many fewer people like vanilla ice cream than chocolate?
- How many people were surveyed for this data chart?
Reviewing Data Analysis
After you teach your students how to use tally charts and data charts to collect data, use that data to create bar graphs and picture graphs, measure objects, and create a line plot – whew! It’s a lot. Now you and your students are ready for the fun review I mentioned above!
After that intense data analysis unit, let’s use a fun data analysis game show for review!
This game reviews all the elements of data analysis I just previewed for you:
- Tally Charts
- Data Charts
- Picture Graphs
- Bar Graphs
- Line Plots
Within each category, students will answer questions about each one.
How the Game is Played
If you are not familiar with this Jeopardy-style game, here’s a quick overview. There are five categories on the board, with five questions in each. The questions have values of 100 – 500 points. Students can choose any category or point value, and the goal is to have the most points by the end of the game. (when all of the questions have been asked)
This Data Analysis Game Show is very easy to use, and the only thing you have to do is name the teams on the scoreboard! During the game, you will enter the scores as teams answer questions correctly. It is used in presentation mode on PowerPoint and resets itself whenever you exit that mode.
Data Analysis Game Show Questions and Answers
The five categories in this game are Tally Charts, Data Charts, Picture Graphs, Bar Graphs, and Line Plots. In each category, students analyze the data to determine how many more, how many less, and how many in all.
If your students take standardized tests, these are the kinds of questions they will have to answer.
That’s why this game is perfect for data analysis review at the end of the unit or as a way to prep for standardized testing.
If you want a fun way to review data analysis – this NO-PREP Data Analysis Game Show is perfect! Use it for whole group or small group review. It’s also a fun math center if you teach students how to play!
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The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan