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Friday, March 20, 2015

Leprechaun Crafts and Graphs

As *luck* would have it :), my two year old decided to come down with a really, really bad and long-lasting stomach bug that meant I needed to miss St. Patrick's day at school to be a mommy to my sick little baby!

And he wasn't *lucky* enough to catch the 24 hour version of the tummy bug either.  This sucker was off and on for 5 days.  And it took almost a week to get back to 100%.  Goodness!

All that bad *luck* meant that our leprechaun fun at school was put on hold until today!  And I had to trim out our rainbow experiment because we just didn't have enough time... But you can read about that one HERE!

Tuesday, my lovely intern read The Luckiest Day book at did the writing activity with our kiddos.  Thank goodness for great interns that just roll with the punches!!  Here's a look at this creative group's leprechauns!

This little girl insisted on adding some hair to make her leprechaun a little prettier!

"It's raining gold, Mrs. Shaddock!"

Find the templates and 9 writing prompts here!


During math, we graphed our Lucky Charms marshmallows.  The past 2 weeks we have been focusing on data displays during our math skills time.  The kids graphed our weather for the month of February by taking our tally mark data and turning it into their own display.  Making the graphs authentically, instead of coloring in a bar graph has really made for some great discussions on measuring data and what is important when making a graph.

This conversation continued today....

All I did was remind them of our graphing weather data last week and told them to use their marshmallows as their data to make a display that would be easy to compare.  As we had been discussing in our room, a display that's easy to compare means I can look at it and compare data with my eyes--without having to count.

On their own, all of the groups immediately started sorting the marshmallows into categories.

They counted and recorded their data...

And then made their displays.  No, this isn't a great display.  And no, it doesn't even remotely look like a graph.  But it was perfect in my eyes because it will give us some great opportunities to talk about what is important when we graph. {No, we didn't have time to share today, but I'll be saving the pictures so we can share later!}

What's interesting about this graph and the one below is that when we graphed weather with our paper data, I didn't have any one that didn't have a lined up, traditional looking bar graph.  I don't know if it was the marshmallow data instead of paper data, that 3 of my strong math thinkers were absent today, or the fact that it was the Friday before Spring Break {hellooooo!!} and we were all ready for a little vacay. #ithappens

These are more like what I saw with the first group graph.  It's so interesting to watch the kids build their own graph display.  I always seem to have one group that starts at the top and graphs down.  Things and issues I'll be questioning them about on this graph when we share are: each category doesn't have the same starting point, gaps in between data points, and doubling up some of the data.

And what's interesting to my nerdy, math junkie brain, is how much of graphing understanding really comes from how well they understand measurement.  When we share displays, the same important points from our measurement discussions, come up with graphing too.

This group asked for extra paper so they wouldn't have to double up their clover data!  They also tried to order the data from greatest to least, but forgot about the moons until it was too late.

I just love having my firsties build authentic graphs without coloring in a worksheet.  There are so major high-level thinking going on and it's so much more meaningful to them.  They become problem solvers, evaluators, analyzers, and great communicators...which are all skills that we can each agree are important life skills!  No, they didn't all build a perfect graph.  But I'm glad.  Perfect isn't realistic.  My job as their teacher is to turn realistic mistakes into learning opportunities and conversation points with my kids.  Sometimes mistakes are our most powerful teachers!

Hop on over to my TPT store and grab your *LUCKY* free download of my Lucky Charms Graphing activity!