Teaching through Trade Books: Dealing with Databy: Christine Anne Royce

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The elementary classroom is full of opportunities to collect and organize information—or data—of all kinds. This article suggests two trade books that help children explore concepts of measurement. A background section and data-gathering activities for grades K-3 and 4-6 are included.

  • Elementary
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  • on Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:13 PM

I read an article named Dealing with data this week. Students should have more opportunities to work with data. It helps them to connect science instruction to real-world issues. The author mentioned those data-related activities are necessary for a science teacher. Students can learn to collect data from observation and measurement. The teacher will encourage students to deal with data using diverse ways and tools. Therefore, they can interpret and draw conclusion better. “Organizing collected data can be done through a chart, diagram, graph, report, or table. Written descriptions and pictorial representations are also options” (Royce, 2003). A strategy in this article is trade book–inspired investigations. Topics like hottest, coldest, highest, and deepest can engage students to know about measurement. So that, these topics can be an introduction to collecting data. The author divides students into two parts: grades k-3 and grades 4-6. Organizing data in the elementary classroom can be designed as daily data activities. A topic like favorite foods is appropriate for kids. The teacher will encourage the class to discuss the best way to organize the data. Guidance is essential and developing a bar graph is a common tool to interpret data. The teacher can provide each student with a sticky note and encourage student to place it on the graph. After constructing the graph, students should be allowed to have time to discuss their findings about their favorite foods. In addition, a prediction of tomorrow’s weather is a good topic for the age level. As for students at grades four to six, delving into data is necessary. Students in upper elementary need to delve further into data through their own experiments. Teachers should identify their own research questions which can be used to collect data. Dealing with data not only help students think about information differently but also connects mathematics skills to science. A scientific thinking can be constructed.

Zhengyun Lu
Zhengyun Lu

  • on Fri May 11, 2012 3:01 PM

Helping our students become familiar with the term data and providing opportunities for young children to collect and organize information can be accomplished with the help of trade books on the topic. The author suggests two books. Then she shows how they can be the engagements that lead to inquiry-based investigation rich with data to collect, organize and analyze. She provides different lesson plans for lower and upper elementary grade levels, the latter grades (4-6) examine and interpret “real life” data already collected. The article provides excellent lesson plans to help students delve into data.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

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