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Friday, December 2, 2011

Data Analysis With a Mission!

For the last two weeks, my students have been on a math mission that has taken them through the exciting world of data analysis.  They were presented with a special request that brought them excitement, fervor, and purpose for delving into this very important world of math learning. Follow us through our mission as we take on data analysis with a mission!

The mission:
After dividing into groups, the students were assigned a part of the planning process for the Christmas party. Each team brainstormed to develop their question that would help them collect data for their simple survey. We drew our tally tables that listed our categorical data, and once we were ready, we set out to collect our numerical data.

As we marked our tallies, we noted it under either the boy or girl column to later be able to build not only single bar graphs, but also double bar graphs; keeping boys and girls votes separate would also be another way to help us further analyze our collected data.

Using our collected data, we set about creating our different types of graphs to communicated our data. We used an online program called Kids Zone, Learning with NCESS, Create A Graph.  We drew single bar graphs to represent the frequency of our categorical data and double bar graphs to further note the differences in our data between the boys and girl's choices.

Below are two books created to display our single and double graphs.  As you read our book, look under the graphs for our observations and party recommendation we made for the teacher we worked with.

Single Bar Graph Book by Ms Witherspoon's Class:

Double Bar Graph Book by Miss Tripp's Class:

After completing this project, here we brainstormed on how we could improve our work:

1. Many of us needed to make sure the intervals on our graphs were not decimals but whole number.  Therefore we needed to change the range we entered into the computer program.

2. Carefully consider the differences between an observation and recommendation and make sure both of these we wrote were solely based on our data.

3.  Analyze our written ideas to see if we have clearly communicated our ideas. 

4. Spend more time proofreading our work, checking carefully for capitalization, punctuation, and complete sentences.

5. When we developed our choices for our survey, we tried to use variety of ideas, especially offering healthy choices in the foods and drinks.  We could have researched for a greater variety of choices that were more likeable. 

A very special thank you to Mrs. Spillers for allowing my homeroom class to work with her class in collecting data for this special project.  Also, thank you to Mrs. Connelly for allowing Ms. Witherspoon’s class to do the same with her students.  Ladies, you both helped “hook” my students' interest in helping you out, and in turn this sparked their motivation for learning.  Thank you for being a part of the fourth grade learning process! 

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