Analysis Questions – Bar Graphs

One of the simplest things you can do to help students think deeply about visual material is to write analysis questions for the different types of visuals you use with students.  This example is for bar graphs – and I’ve included two examples to give you an idea of how these questions might look.  (I’ll be adding a whole series of analysis questions for different types of visuals, so be sure to check back often and/or subscribe to this blog.)

Overview Sheet – Analysis Questions, Bar Graphs

Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, Band Instrument Choices

Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, 3D Movies

After students talk about the information in the graphs, based on the guiding questions you provide, have them write a summary of what the graph says.  You can make this a short and sweet summary that uses bullet statements or you can have students write a full paragraph.  When you give students a chance to talk about the questions BEFORE having them write, they’ll do a much better job with the summary.

Use the graphs.  Get students talking about the information in the graphs.  Watch them develop deeper understanding because you guided them through deeper thinking of the material.  And as always, don’t forget to add your own good questions.  You may even want to add some here!

Know Data, Know Answers

I want to share a piece I wrote a number of years ago.  I love the rubrics designed by the fine folks at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, but I wanted to unpack the rubrics.  By unpacking the rubrics, I can get to data that allows me  to see the specific parts of the problem-solving process in mathematics for which students need help.  I hope you’ll read the article and add an idea or two to your assessment toolkit.  Download the article here.

Download a copy of Northwest’s Mathematics Problem Solving Grid.

Using Data to Form Flex Groups – Kindergarten Writing

You’ve likely heard about using data to inform student achievement.  You’ve also likely used assessment data from your state tests to try and do that.  There are many ways to use data, including the kinds of data you collect in your classroom.  This short piece describes how to use data from a rubric to form flexible groups for instruction.  Download the pdf to learn more about how to use this data strategy.

You may also want to download a copy of the kindergarten rubric that is used in this strategy.

Kindergarten Developmental Rubric

This three-page handout has an example of a developmental rubric that can be used in kindergarten.

Download the pdf of the kindergarten rubric and ideas for its use.

You may also want to see my post related to using the data from this rubric to form flexible groups.

Time on a Line

Use this activity to help your young students learn to tell time.  This is called Time on a Line because the clock cards are designed to hang from a string or clothesline.  I’ve got a few options for download and use:

Download the entire file at one time.

Download time to the hour.

Download time to the half-hour.

Download the set that has the hour and half-hour in sequence. You can project this set and students can practice reading the times with you.

Download the label cards. The use of the label cards are good to help students with vocabulary related to time.

As always, please share your ideas for using this activity.

Content Card, Parallel (Elementary Level)

Our younger students learn about parallel lines in different grade levels in different states.  But there is some key content that students need to know related to parallel lines.  This content card provides key content.  (If you see other things that need to be added, please leave a comment and I’ll update this.  All of my content cards are a work in progress.)  DOWNLOAD THE CONTENT CARD FOR PARALLEL.  I’ve included a piece that is not in most elementary programs – and that is how to write a math sentence that shows two lines are parallel.

Remember that in curriculum development world, we still need to work on things students must be able to do with this content at the elementary school level.  Do we want students to identify parallel lines in everyday things?  Do we want students to distinguish between a parallel line and a perpendicular line?  What about explaining what a parallel line is?  What about explaining why a line that is not parallel isn’t?  Do we want students to explain the difference between parallel lines and intersecting lines?  These kinds of things become objectives in your curriculum.

For those of you in charge of developing curriculum, there are a couple of questions you’ll want to answer:  What core content do you want at each grade level in relation to this concept?  What do you want students to do with the content at each grade level?  By the way, content cards are a good way to check vertical and horizontal alignment in a curriculum at the district level.

If your role is that of designing assessments, the content cards are a big plus as well.  When everyone works from the same core content – and the same objectives, you support tight alignment at the classroom level – which is where alignment really happens.

Learning to Count

When teaching students to count, there are a couple of basic tools every teacher needs.  Here’s the great news:  These tools cost almost nothing and are very simple to reproduce and use.  DOWNLOAD MY HUNDREDS CHART and perhaps print one for each of your students.  DOWNLOAD THE NUMBER CARDS and make a number line and/or use the cards in a variety of other ways.

Corresponding Content Card – Counting 1, 2, 3.

Counting Sort With Sentences

This is another sort that I designed when I put together the Content Card for Counting (Kindergarten Level).  In this activity, students practice using sentences that have a number.  DOWNLOAD THIS ACTIVITY and your students will soon be making sentences.

Corresponding Content Card – Counting 1, 2, 3.

Counting Sort

This is a sort in which students count to answer “how many” questions with up to ten things.  This is for Kindergarten and goes with my Content Cards for Counting.  DOWNLOAD THIS ACTIVITY for a tool that willl help students sort pictures as well as their corresponding numbers and number words.

Corresponding Content Card – Counting 1, 2, 3.

Content Card – Counting 1, 2, 3

One of the things I do to determine the quality of a curriculum is to review the actual content the curriculum will include.  This is the content card I developed for the common core’s DRAFT grade-level kindergarten standards that deal with counting.  I’ve also reviewed the the corresponding standards for the State of Michigan and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  See what you think!  DOWNLOAD THE CONTENT CARDS.