Sunday, July 23, 2017

Back to School Graphs: New Friends and Their Favorites

Summer is not so much a season as it is a melody, 
that tune of contentment we hum as the days begin to beautifully blur. 
Sarah Ban Breathnach

So true, summer brings with it so many simple joys that if we are not careful, can go unnoticed. 
We went to the mountains last week and found a quiet spot in the river to swim and sit. 
I could not have been more content than I was swimming in the flow of that cool mountain water. 
Simple abundance exists all around us. Noticing and appreciating each day's gifts can unlock the fullness in our lives. Aren't we lucky as teachers to be able to shed thoughts of school and work expectations for a short while. 
Sweet sweet summer....but then I went to Target. 
Have you been recently? 
They are clearing out summer and filling it in with back to school stuff. 
Stealing my joy. 

It seems earlier each year. I know many who are beginning to plan for the next school year. 
I have a friend who does and says it is because she wants to be kind to her "future self". 
She says planning now helps keep her sane in September. 
How about you? Are you a planning ahead or planning to procrastinate? I'm usually the latter of the two. For those of you who are thinking of the next school year, I am posting some "Back to School" files to my Teacher Pay Teacher store. 

The beginning of the year can be a challenging time for me. I want to devote enough time getting to know my new students yet there is always the push to get right into the academics so we don't get behind at the start. Does anyone else deal with that? It sometimes feels like we don't have the time to ease into the much to teach in one year's time.

To deal with that, I have attempted to combine some "Getting to Know You" type activities with some of our third grade reading and math objectives. We work on graphing right at the beginning of the year. Third graders need to be able to use data to create picture graphs, bar graphs and line plots. 
Here is a file that allows students a chance to survey each other to find out more about one another at the same time they are getting practice in making and analyzing picture graphs. 

This set includes 14 different "Getting to Know You" survey questions, tally charts, symbols and graphing papers. Third graders typically deal with the symbol of a picture graph equaling more that just one. Having to represent data with the symbol equaling 2 or more raises the rigor and requires students to cut the symbol. Having to cut the picture graph symbols out and gluing them onto the graph helps to slow students down and forces them to think about how many symbols they really need. 

You can check out this set by clicking the link below. 

Do you have favorite "Getting to Know You" activities? Would love to hear!


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