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Mathematics |

Posted Mon Jan 8 17:21:51 PST 2001 by Chris Organek ().

Colchester CT

Materials Required: Manipulatives and objects for sorting

Activity Time: 30-60 min

Concepts Taught: Graphing

I am always trying to think of center ideas that can be used

several times by just changing the materials, giving the

children repeated practice without the boredom. Another plus is

that once I give the directions and children do it the first

time, they can be pretty independent after that.For the graph center, I used yogurt cups to hold small

collections of manipulatives to graph--plastic animals in one,

pattern blocks in another, buttons, plastic fruit, colored

pasta, etc.Then I made a large, four column blank graph (I made six of

these so that six students can work at once). On the top is a

line for the question or title. On the bottom of each column

are lines to write the choices. Numbers go up the left side. I

laminated these so students can use dri-erase markers to label

the graph. The students take one yogurt cup and place the items

on the real graph.Next, I made an identical graph on 8 1/2x11 paper and ran off

lots of these, storing them in a zip-loc bag. The students make

a simple bar graph by coloring in one section to represent each

item on the real graph. They write their title and label the

choices on this graph.Last, students write some sentences about their graph. We

practice making statements orally about graphs each morning, and

I have model sentences on a chart: There are more ___ than ___.

There are __ fewer ___ than ___. There are an equal number of

___ and ___. Etc.As you can see, there is math and writing involved in this

activity, and children have to problem solve to determine how to

organize the contents of the yogurt cup to make a graph. Some

manipulatives can be graphed in more than one way (by color or

by shape, for example). The written graph and sentences are a

good assessment tool for me. This is a good center to put away

for a few weeks and get out again later on when children have had more experience with the oral language concepts. I hope that this is

helpful to some teachers out there!