The Data Management and Probability strand of the Ontario Math Curriculum asks students to fulfill curriculum expectations related to the collection, display and analysis of data. As part of our data management unit, the class collected primary data for real purposes, i.e. to help adults make informed decisions about several school initiatives.
The class began by working in five groups to design questions around particular topics, administer surveys and compile responses into charts. Afterwards, each student produced his/her own display and analysis of the data his/her group collected.
Here are students engaged in various stages of the project:
Students collected yes/no data and then constructed double bar graphs to display their survey results by grade.
Group 1 posed a question to help Mrs. Black determine levels of student participation in our school's recent wildlife food drive:
We learned that 20% of students at our school brought in food for our local wildlife sanctuaries, and students from Kindergarten through Grade 7 participated.
Group 2 collected baseline data for our School Council, to help determine whether it would be advantageous to implement a breakfast program at our school:
We discovered that 25% of students at our school do not eat breakfast regularly, before coming to school. The most likely to eat breakfast are younger students. The least likely to eat breakfast are students in the intermediate grades. This information was presented at a School Council meeting and included in the School Improvement Plan.
Based on our survey results, School Council did implement a breakfast program at our school. Several trays of food, like this one, are available to students each morning, as they enter the school:
Group 3 sought to provide The Green Team and custodian with baseline data about how many students bring waste-free lunches to school. This information will help The Green Team develop a campaign to promote litterless lunches:
We discovered that just under half of the students at our school bring their lunches to school in disposable containers. Kindergarten and Grade 4 students were the least likely to bring waste free lunches to school, and older students the most likely to bring their food in reusable containers.
Students sought to determine what sports equipment children would prefer, should School Council have funding to purchase new baskets of DPA/recess equipment for our classrooms.
One group of Grade 5 students surveyed children from Kindergarten through Grade 3:
We discovered that younger students overwhelmingly prefer equipment such as trucks and large, soft bouncy balls, while older primary students like such items as skipping ropes, soccer balls, tennis balls and mini-sticks.
A second group of Grade 5 students asked children from Grades 4 through 8 about sports equipment preferences:
We learned that students in Grades 4-6 would love to have a wide variety of sports equipment, including soccer balls, basketballs, tennis balls, large bouncy balls, and baseball and volleyball equipment. Students in Grades 7 and 8 were most interested in acquiring volleyball equipment.
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