Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Part A

Observing Student Representation
  Introduction | Representing Data | Problem Reflection #1 | Is This Circle Graph Correct? | Problem Reflection #2 | Classroom Practice | Observe a Classroom | Your Journal


A class of students ranging from fourth- to sixth-graders has been immersed in a unit of study, Representing Data, for several weeks. In this activity, students are working on various numeric forms of representing data in preparation for making graphs.

They were given the following assignment as a way of assessing their learning about using percents in a data analysis situation:

Use the survey data that you organized and summarized last night to do the following:

  • Find percents for each category.
  • Make a color key and show the percents on a 100-grid.
  • Demonstrate your method of finding the percent for one of your data categories and explain why your method is correct.
  • Decide what type of graph you will make tomorrow to clearly show your data.

Martina had the following data from her survey of 60 upper elementary students.

Favorite ball game to play:

Game Number of Kids Decimal Percent
Basketball 14    
Soccer 12    
Kickball 20    
Football 5    
Baseball or Softball 9    
Total Surveyed 60    

She calculated the following decimals and percents and then colored the 100-grid, below:

Game Number of Kids Decimal Percent
Basketball (bkt) 14 0.2333333 23
Soccer (s) 12 0.2 20
Kickball (k) 20 0.3333333 33
Football (f) 5 0.0833333 8
Baseball or Softball (b) 9 0.15 15
Total Surveyed 60 0.9999999 ≈ 1 99


Martina wrote the following explanation of her process:

"Fourteen out of 60 people surveyed chose basketball. I can write the fraction 14/60. But I have to use a 100-grid, so I can't just color in one box for each person. To get numbers out of 100, I divided 14 by 60. I did that on a calculator and got 0.2333333. Move the decimal two places to the right to make a percent, out of 100. It's 23%. On the 100-grid, I colored 23 squares red for the people who chose basketball. It is correct, because 23% of 60 people is 13.8, and that rounds off to 14 whole people.

Tomorrow I will take a 100-strip and color the squares with the same colors as on my 100-grid and then make it into a circle to draw a circle graph."

Next  Reflect on the problem

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