Easy Graphing Ideas

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

We have identified graphing as a focus for math this year at our school.  We want to provide the kiddos at every grade level a variety of experiences throughout the year creating and interpreting graphs, and we want to make connections between graphing skills and other math concepts.  One way we are doing this is through quick surveys in our classes.  Below you see two examples of ways our creative teachers are taking this idea and running with it.

One of our 3rd grade teachers wanted a SMART board file she could use daily with the kiddos, so I came up with this for her.  There are pink rectangles for the girls and blue for the boys.  Clone or delete the rectangles to fit your class size.  Edit the text in the rectangles to add your kids’ names.  The title and column labels can be edited each day to change it up for the day’s survey question. They are locked items, so you need to unlock them to edit them.  Then you probably want to lock them back so they don’t move around as the kiddos interact with the graph.  As kids come in, they simply slide the rectangle with their name to indicate their response to the question.  For tips on how to frame the discussion about the graph, check out this blog post.  Click on the picture to grab the SMART Notebook file.

This is a SMART Notebook file, so there will be no Google Docs preview when you click on the picture.  You’ll need to download the file to use it.
My fabulous 1st-grade team took the clothespin graph idea from Pinterest and made it their own. Here Cassie shows her creation. The number strips hang from a whiteboard that can be changed for the daily question.  She can also change the yes and no at the bottom when the kids need more sophisticated graphs. Love the festive ribbon it hangs from!
Here are a couple of versions of forms the kiddos can use to record the results from graphing activities.  Click on the pictures to grab yours!

15 Comments

  1. Michelle Hall

    Donna, I love your site. Do you have anything for graphing that can be used with iPads or MacBook Air Laptops?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks so much, Michelle! I’m sorry, but I don’t have anything to share for iPads or MacBooks. I don’t have either of those technologies. 🙁

      Reply
  2. connie

    Your blog is just awesome. It has been a blessing this year in first grade – and that it is only about to be week 4 too. Thank you so much!!

    Connie

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Connie, thanks so much for taking the time to post such a sweet comment. You made my day! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Donna

    I absolutely love your blog!! I really look forward to seeing what you’ve come up with next! As an Instructional Lead Teacher I look forward to sharing your ideas with my teachers!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Sharing is the name of the game! Don’t you just LOVE the Internet?! 🙂

      Reply
  4. andy garcia

    I love this graph for the smartboard, but I can’t get it to open at school. Is there something in particular I need to open it?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Not that I know of. Maybe your school has a filter that is blocking it?

      Reply
  5. Amy

    NLVM has a great gar graphing application, too.

    Reply
  6. Joanne

    Will this work for active inspire/promethean board, too? I’m not there to try it.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I think it depends on if you can convert the SMART Notebook file to whatever kind of file is used by Active Inspire. I’m sorry, but I don’t know more than that.

      Reply
  7. Vicki D Nails

    What is the difference? My first graders will love this. Thank you again!

    Reply
  8. Mary

    I am thinking about going back to school and having some students in school and other students at home. I would love to do a daily graphing activity. Is there some way to insert an activity into a google doc that would be accessible for both students at school and at home?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Absolutely! There are lots of instructional videos on how to turn activities into digital resources if you Google it.

      Reply
  9. Laila

    Hi Donna

    I’m a retired maths teacher. I just love your blog. Sharing is caring. So true. I wish the internet was available when I was in my prime. Using your ideas to teach some maths concepts to the learners would have been great I’m sure. Young teachers are so fortunate

    Reply

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