Thursday, March 10, 2011

Earth and space strand integrates with math

I discovered that I loved science when I started teaching science to grade one! I really liked using the earth and space strand for teaching graphing in math. The first time in the year that I used this technique was the month of November. We kept track of the weather every day, and made sure to record the weekend weather every Monday. I chose November because there is always a wide variation in the weather. I used adjectives: sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy. I chose these four because they were fairly objective, and we always checked off the weather after first recess.

At the end of the month, I photocopied the 8x11 sheet with the class record of weather for each student. Each student had a graph with 4 columns and 30 rows, with the labels at the bottom. They were already familiar with making bar graphs because we had previously spent time graphing objects in the classroom as a class activity, and smarties after Halloween.

At this point in the year, I did not have them answer written questions about their findings, but I expected them to make oral comparisons.

During the month of March, we tracked windy and calm days. I sent home a sheet for them to keep track over the March break which they were to return to school afterwards. (This sheet was decorated with clip art for St. Patrick's Day which they had coloured in class on the last day before the holiday.) At the end of the month, each student used his own sheet along with a photocopy of our class record to complete a bar graph and answer written questions about the information.

The month of April was another good month for tracking weather because of the variable weather April usually brings! When they completed their bar graph at the end of the month, I expected them to record their findings independently. I usually did a survey about whether there would be snow in April as well, and made a record on chart paper - a variation of probability!

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