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Inquisitive Minds Collect Data

Inquisitive Minds Collect Data
Jennifer Manuel

Inquisitive minds were engaged and passionate in grade 1 math this week! There was such a diverse range of wonders children wanted to find out in their partner groups from “What would you rather play, Minecraft or Roblox?” to “Would you rather be a jaguar or a dragon?” The children had questions revolving around pets and food choices, sport preferences, and choices in holiday-themed jelly beans they spotted while shopping at Safeway.

Interviewing Preschool keiki, “Would you rather have a dog or a cat?”

Students surveying a variety of students, ranging from PS to grade 5

Data collection is so much more than generating questions and collecting tally marks! This mini-inquiry project provided tangible, real-world examples that made abstract concepts more concrete for our mathematicians. It allowed them to interact with the information they were curious about, created meaningful conversations about how to keep track of the data during their interview, and how to use individual strengths and respect perspectives of others to collaborate on a group project.

Allowing another opportunity for choices, notice ‘neither and both’ were options for data collecting

Noticing differences in choices, but also how important who is surveyed makes a difference

Children wondered why other students did not enjoy watching the same movies as them.

The children had a diverse range of students to survey. Some groups went to Preschool classrooms while others went to the oldest children on our Elementary campus. When the children entered the different classrooms, they had to learn how to navigate the amount of student responses and how to transfer that knowledge to their recording sheet to analyze at a later math block. The children discussed who would ask the question and who would record their responses. Some designated roles, and some partners decided to share the responsibilities. It was exciting to facilitate the learning experience and see how the children confidently went about this inquiry data collection project.

Data collection can help children understand that math is not just an academic subject but a practical tool for understanding and navigating the world. It introduces fundamental mathematical concepts such as counting, sorting, comparing, and organizing. These skills serve as the building blocks for more advanced mathematical understanding later in your child’s education. Discussing and describing the data supports language development. Children learn to express themselves, articulate their observations, and communicate their findings, promoting both oral and written language skills. As we continue to reflect on our ‘findings’ the students shared findings within our math community:

“I’m surprised students like doughnuts more than ice cream.”
“I figured out 2 students like chocolate and 12 students like both chocolate and pizza.”
“I wonder if some girls don’t like sports [like basketball or football] and that’s why we have so many neither on our votes.”
“We found out that the hot chocolate flavor of jelly beans had the most votes from Ms. Manuel’s math class.”
“More people like cats than dogs. No one chose, ‘I don’t know.’ “
“Dragons had the most votes and jaguars had the least votes for grade 5.”
“We found out that most people in grade 5 like pizza and ice cream.”
“I wonder why a lot of people do not like the movies we chose [Paw Patrol and Rubble C.W.].”

Collecting relevant data for early learners is a powerful educational tool that integrates various skills and concepts in a meaningful way, laying the foundation for their academic journey.

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