Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our Birthday Graph

This lesson was inspired by an idea I found over the summer. Unfortunately, I do not know where the original idea came from. I thought I pinned it to a board, but I did not. The picture below shows the original idea. If this idea came from you, please comment below and let us know :)

The teachers in my district are teaching graphing this week, so I decided to do a birthday graph in a few of their classrooms. First I read the book, Birthday Zoo, by Deborah Lee Rose. The kids loved the fun animals and rhyming text in this book. It is great for predicting whose birthday it is too.
To prepare for the lesson, I created the graph, took and developed pictures of students holding the date of their birthday, and recorded the month their birthday was in on the back of their picture. Recording the month of their birthday on the back of their picture made sorting them into groups easier.
First, we sorted ourselves by the month our birthdays are in. We did one month at a time. I asked students what month comes first. I placed the January card on the floor and the students who had a birthday in January sat behind the January card. We did this for each month. I used the graph as a point of reference when students got stuck on what month comes next or which month was written on the back of their picture.
After we had sorted the entire class, we started back over with January. When we got to months with more than one student with a birthday, they had to decide which one should put their picture up first based on numerical order. This lesson gave students practice in ordinal numbers, the months of the year, counting, number order, and graphing.
After everyone had their picture on the graph, we analyzed our data to find which month had the most birthdays, which one had the fewest, how many birthdays were in each month, etc.

If I was teaching this lesson again, I would have moved the lesson out of the classroom and done it in a larger space. With 12 months of the year, we were kind of cramp when we spread out on the carpet. I would also reconsider the analyzing our graph page. In some cases you could have more than one month with the most and/or least birthdays and January and February could have the same number of birthdays in them. To do this lesson again, I would look at my student's birthdays and write the analyzing the graph sheet accordingly.


laughinbrunette (Jennifer) said...

Awesome! Love this!
First Grade Blue SKies

Kristin said...

GREAT idea!!
A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Mrs. McHaffie said...

I've awarded you with the 'Blog on Fire' Award.

Thanks for always being an inspiration!

Beg Borrow Steal

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that I came across your blog. It sounds like we are doing similar things in the classroom. Are you by any chance following the Cscope curriculum? I teach in a district on the border between Texas and Oklahoma. :-)

Mrs. Larremore said...

yes... we follow CSCOPE in our district...

Brooke said...

This is a great idea for the classroom. It will make the students excited about their birthday and appreciate their friend's birthdays. Neat way to integrate math as well.

Mrs. Russell's Class said...

Everyday Math, a program I've used with Kindergarten in the past, encourages teachers to have a birthday graph bulletin board on display all school year. Instead of graphing by month, the class makes a graph by age. Then, as students have birthdays, they move to their new age on the birthday graph. This allows the graph to change and allows the class to analyze the graph as the year goes on.

Deborah said...

Have you ever considered creating a circle graph from the photos? Take the photos in each month and place them in order forming a circle. Then use pieces of string from the center of the circle to the outside of each months group. This will create a circle graph. This leads to a discussion of what group has the largest area of the circle.

Lisa said...

Love it.... Here's links to posts about birthdays in the classroom (including this one)

Mark said...

I love your post! What a great way to start the year!