Observing Student Representation
 Introduction | Representing Data | Problem Reflection #1 | Is This Circle Graph Correct? | Problem Reflection #2 | Classroom Practice | Observe a Classroom | Your Journal
 Let's look at a video of a similar data activity in a classroom setting, which occurs earlier in the school year than the assignments we just examined. In this video, you can watch Judy Darcy's fourth- through sixth-grade class from Tucson, Arizona. The students have been exposed to a wide variety of graphs related to current issues in their world. They were encouraged to analyze and interpret the data within the graphs and to pose additional questions. They had opportunities to interpret, critique, or use representations, such as line graphs, Venn diagrams, bar graphs, and circle graphs. They not only interpreted newspaper graphs, they also collected their own data and decided on the most appropriate method of representing it. They faced challenges as they gathered, organized, and summarized their own survey results. Read the questions below before you watch the video. (You may want to watch the video again to help you answer each question.) What do you think are the teacher's mathematical content and reasoning goals for this lesson? What are some of the different representations of data that are used? What kinds of help does the teacher provide? Now watch the extended video excerpt (duration 5:48), at left, of Judy Darcy's students as they work further on the Representing Data activity. After you have watched the video, reflect on the following questions: How does the teacher help the students analyze and understand the relationship between their data and their representations? How does the teacher use representations to help the students clear up their misconceptions and clarify their thinking? What mathematical concepts could develop from the use of representations in these tasks? How do students progress from collecting the data to organizing and representing it in a meaningful way? How does this process help them develop deeper mathematical understanding?
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