Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why is Your Graph Upside Down?

I love to throw in a graph or two Science, Social Studies, Language...and oh yeah Math. We take surveys and graph, count objects and graph, spin and graph....we graph.
I decided this year to change the traditional roll and trace the letter activities I had to a spin and graph. I designed the pages in PPT so that the spinner was on the page. I made them with Capital letters on the spinners and lower case letters to trace and with initial sound pictures on the spinners. I put them in my workstations....and wondered why the kids were struggling to graph from the bottom up.
 Then as I was giving directions on it, it hit me. Here I am saying start the graph at the bottom and start at the top for the letters. 
All the time, I remind the students to write top down left to right and here they had to keep that idea and learn graphing from the bottom. We aren't going to change how we graph - but we can change to a horizontal graph. Click on the pictures below to try the new horizontal graph. Now when one bar reaches the right side, we can answer the questions. What a difference a little thing makes.

Have a great weekend.

Freebie Fridays


  1. I caught myself doing the same thing a few years ago! And I did the same thing, made my graphs left to right, and then introduced vertical graphs top to bottom later in the year. No confusion because they were solid with reading and writing directionality and ready for the new challenge!

    1. Funny how we forget to reset ourselves to the beginning of the year sometimes. : )