The Human Column Graph – A great lesson using technology

 In Teacher PD
Technology is often used in maths classes as a replacement tool for what could be done without it anyway.
The following lesson in a grade 2 class used technology where the learning could not be done without it, and the lesson was fabulous.

 

“I want 2C, the class next door, to know what colour eyes we all have so I am going to take a photo and send it”, the teacher said.

The students formed a huddle and their picture was taken.  This was then displayed on the whiteboard.

“What do you think? Will the photo let them know what colour eyes we all have?”

 

Some skilful questioning by the teacher and there was a consensus that no it wouldn’t. It needed a heading to tell them what to look for. A cardboard sign was made and another photo taken and displayed.

“What do you think? Will the photo now let them know what colour eyes we all have?”

“How could we make it clearer”?

Some more skilful questioning from a teacher on top her game and the class decided it would be easier if they got into groups of the same coloured eyes.

 

Another photo, another display.

“What do you think? Will the photo now let them know what colour eyes we all have?”

“How could we make it clearer”?

The students decided that it was too hard to see how many were in each group so they should line up.

 

Another photo, another display.

The students said labels under each line would show what colour eyes the group had.

The teacher produced some labels she had prepared earlier including the word purple.

“Mmmm, should we include the purple label”?

There was some debate, but the students decided that it was fine to include the purple label because there this would show that no one had purple eyes.

 

Another photo, another display.

“This looks pretty good don’t you think”?

It’s still a bit hard to count how many in each group, what if we put a number line up the side so everyone could see how many in a group without counting offered one student.

 

Under the guidance of a skilled teacher the class had just discovered Column graphs for themselves. The short direct instruction about column graphs that followed had a context, the students were engaged and the lesson flowed from one activity to the next seamlessly.

The use of technology was brilliant, necessary and unobtrusive.

 

Arthur C Clarke said, “Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer deserves to be.”

This teacher could not be replaced by a computer and the class was lucky to have her.

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