Candy Graphing

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At long last I have a few thoughts to share on our Halloween candy graphs! This is a classic assignment and one that isn’t too difficult to pull off. Here are a few details:

  • Have kids sort and tally their candy stash– no Halloween for your family? How about taking a poll on people’s favorite candy? Tally up the results. 
  • Data chart- kids can design their own which is a great learning experience. What kind of chart will best hold the data? How can I organize the information so it’s easy to use later? J7 wrote his out by himself and then used Excel to make a chart on the computer.
  • Trade the candy– because…well…you know. You have to leave time now that’s all out there in the open.
  • Eat a little.
  • Graph the results– now we thought it would be great to use the candy wrappers in the graph. Splendid idea, but then we needed to wait long enough so that the kids had eaten enough that we had enough different wrappers. Downside: this delayed the follow up of the assignment and the graphs were huge. Upside: how cool are the graphs?
  • As part of graphing, the kids will determine which graph is best. More on this in the next post- How to Make a Great Graph!

We had to make sure we had all the elements of a great graph which I’ll share with you in the next post. If the student didn’t have the wrapper they needed, they drew them on their own.

The kids chose a bar graph to represent their data which was a good choice. In this case we aren’t looking to see a relationship between the two variables in our data set. We just wanted to visualize which candy we had the most of. Graphs are used to present data in different ways so which graph you use depends on what you are trying to convey.

They enjoyed this math classic and it launched us into a week of graphing exercises. Meanwhile, E14 has started graphing conic sections in Advanced Algebra. Isn’t it fun when a family math plan comes together?

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