Saturday, September 17, 2011

Computer Graphing with Pixie

I am here all alone this afternoon. That NEVER happens. I guess I shouldn't say "all alone". Little Sonny (aka "the beast") is here with me.

Sure, he looks cute and innocent but looks can be deceiving! Those of you who have had the privilege of meeting Sonny know what I'm talking about! At the moment he is hiding under the table but I can hear him gnawing on the chair leg. Any Jack Russell owners who have advice on taming the "Taz" please email me! I see Sonny as my lesson in patience and I'm not getting a very good grade right now!

Speaking of emails, I actually read a bunch today and will respond with one last graphing project. My third graders worked on a final project where they came up with a survey question of their own to ask their friends. They picked the question, the answer categories and then polled at least 15 members of our class. They recorded the survey results on a tally chart. Next we used the computer program called "Pixie" to create the bar graphs. Pixie reminds me a lot of Kidspiration. We had the template ready to go in the activities file in the program. It amazes me how techno savy this generation is. They can trouble shoot computers better than I can and generated these graphs with very little help from me.

The final part of the process was analzying the data on the graph and writing our conclusions. I want my third graders to realize that people don't just make a graph for the fun of it but rather that they use it to track information. So in my mind the analysis is an important part. It took some modeling and math talk to get away from the very basic conclusion of ____ has the most and _____ has the least. We've moved a step further and some are beginning to think more deeply than before. They drew their picture and wrote their math thinking in the thought bubble. So if you have Pixie or Kidspiration, give it a try!


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