Saturday, January 23, 2016


Hi there,
Cheryl here.  I want to show you how I use strips of paper to make graphs.

Friday was Pajama Day at my school.  The kids come to school in their pajamas and we do lots of fun things to make the day special.  One of the things that I do in my room is to make pancakes with the kids.  After making pancakes (math and science) we graphed how we like to eat our pancakes.  This was the first experience making a graph for my kiddos.

To make the graph, I wrote their name on a paper pancake.  They attached that to the end of a 3x9 strip of paper.  The color of the paper was determined by their answer to the question, "How do you like your pancakes the best?"  Light brown= plain, yellow= with butter only, dark brown= with syrup only, and dark brown with a yellow stripe= with both syrup and butter.

We used the strips to look at the data in two different ways.  The first was by laying the strips out in columns to make a simple bar graph.  This is one of the most common ways to look at data.  (One of my kiddos moved the butter only strip when I was getting my camera- little stinker).

Pajama Day Fun- Pancake Graph

After we discussed the results of our bar graph, I then changed it up by arranging the strips into a circle.  This created a pie chart that allowed us a chance to look at the data in a different way.  We could figure out the percentage of the class that likes their pancakes in different ways.  

Pie chart graphing

The kids immediately noticed that half of the class liked both syrup and butter on their pancakes.  Since I teach TK, we didn't bother going into the exact percentages, but if you had older kids, then that would be an appropriate thing to do.

You don't have to do this with pancakes, but think about all the different things that you could do it with.  It's a great way to show kids how, by displaying the data in different ways, you get different information about it.  Using strips of paper to make graphs is my new favorite way to display data.  I hope you find it useful and inspiring as well.

Thanks for stopping by!

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