Thursday, November 21, 2013

Goldfish Graphing Math

 Math doesn't have to be boring, and it doesn't have to be expensive either.  Case in point, goldfish graphing.  We did this on the first day of Kindergarten back in August.

- A piece of colored printer paper
- Colored goldfish crackers
- Crayons
- A Ruler
- A Marker
- A Pencil
- Imagination

This was a great introduction to graphing for a (then four) year old who'd never done it before.  She could count and sort though but we got some practice in with that too.

I drew up the bar chart with marker and a ruler and decorated it a little with fish and bubbles (a great start to ocean week), and then put a couple handfuls of colored goldfish crackers in a bowl.

The first step was having her sort the crackers by color into piles on the table.  Then she counted how many was in each pile.  Then we started labeling the chart with numbers and color labels and put the goldfish each in their place on the chart.  She would then mark the top of the goldfish line with a colored crayon matching the fish color, and color in all the spaces below.

By the end we had a chart that looked like this, and she was able to tell me the answer to questions by looking at the chart like: "How many yellow fish were there?"

As a side note, the rest of ocean week went great.  We actually bought her a goldfish at the end of the week (which was a mistake to buy from Wal-Mart because the fish wouldn't eat and died exactly a week later), we made an ocean in a bottle, read fish and ocean books and stories from the library, and also counted and graphed seashells we had from previous trips to the beach.

I like doing 'themed' weeks or even months.  It makes lesson planning go a lot easier.  Not that I always have a plan, but she has a lot more fun when mom does have a plan in place.

Questions?  Comments?  Great graphing or math ideas?  Share them with me in a comment below.  I love to hear from you.

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