Data Analysis and the Young Child – Week 2

Last week we took a first look at how teachers of young children approach data analysis.  I thought that we could look at the way the NCTM lays out this standard.
According to the NCTM website:

Programs should enable all children to:

Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them

This can be demonstrated by the children in the following ways:

  • pose questions and gather data about themselves and their surroundings;
  • sort and classify objects according to their attributes and organize data about the objects;
  • represent data using concrete objects, pictures, and graphs.

And…programs should enable all children to:

Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data…

This can be demonstrated by the children in the following ways:

  • describe parts of the data and the set of data as a whole to determine what the data show.

Sorting and classifying is something we do all the time with children.  We can have children sort nearly anything that we have many of.  It is easier for children to sort by one attribute at a time (for children under 4, only sort by one attribute at a time).  When putting the cutlery out for lunch, put it out in a pile, all mixed up with spoons, forks, and knives.  Have the children sort them before setting the table. There is a great lesson about this very idea in the Math at Home site.  Click here to see it.

There are a couple other lessons available in the Math at Home site about sorting and classifying.  Click here or here to check them out.

If you try any of them out, let us know how they go.

5 Replies to “Data Analysis and the Young Child – Week 2”

  1. I incorporate data collection in my classroom via class surveys on the board, and surveys conducted by the students themselves. We also spend time learning how to tally and chart data and then analyzing data to see what we have learned from it.

    1. I often go into rooms where it is clear that teachers are working with the children to collect interesting data. I love that they keep the data charts up and around so the children can revisit the data and make observations about it. If you are putting them on the board, do you erase it, or can you leave it up?

  2. The idea of analyzing math concepts with children is truly amazing. The subject of math is extremely broad like so many subjects in life. Keeping a child’s interest is the key to learning. I love how you attempt to make the lessons fun and entertaining.

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