We have been focusing on literacy skills such as reading and writing, but for the next few weeks we plan to switch to numeracy. Please let us know what math topics you would most like to see covered. Is numeracy your area of expertise? Which tools or websites do you think would be helpful for others to know about? E-mail us some ways in which you have integrated technology into math instruction and be considered for a guest post.
Visual representation of data is a helpful topic to cover not only for those studying for the GED but anyone wanting to understand data found in graphs. The NCES has a great tool that allows teachers and students to graph simple or quite complex data.
- Explain how a pie chart, also called a pie graph, is a circle with pie-shaped sections. Each pie slice is labeled with a name and a percentage representing its portion of the whole, or 100 percent. As a prerequisite to the following activity, you may need to review how percentages are determined.
- Have students form small group of 2-3 and conduct brief surveys of interest to them. These could easily be done within the class confines but perhaps in the school program itself or even in the community. Examples of data they could collect might be: What are students’ favorite subjects? What is the dominant ancestry group to which they belong? What candidate do they want to vote for? Depending on the topic, you might have students use private polling.
- After they have gathered the information and tallied it so that it adds up to 100%, have the students go to http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/ and click on the image of the pie graph.
- Walk students though filling in their information by demonstrating with an example.
- Walk around helping students who have questions.
- Have students save and send you the link and if desired, print a copy.
- Since this is also a lesson on how to understand and explain graphs, have each group present their graph, but ask volunteers in the class to explain what they mean.
Have students copy information to other graphic representations to see how they will display. Discuss with the class the pros and cons of presentations with other graphic representations such as bar graphs, line graphs, etc.
For more advanced computer users consider using Survey Monkey and Math4Mobile.