One of our anchor standards for the fall of 2017 is Math Practice 2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively. We use numbers to reason in every content area. Additionally, we all have data we can ask students to analyze. Yes, even English teachers work on analyzing data! In my AP Language and Composition class I recently had students analyze a graph showing the number of confederate statues built in the United States at different points in history. You can see the graph below:
In an English or social studies class, a graph is often paired with other written texts. This graph accompanied two articles detailing opposing perspectives on the issue of whether or not the confederate statues should be taken down from public spaces (See article 1 and article 2 ). I ask students to analyze data and graphs so that they can use them as evidence to support their reasoning. They must make sense of the numbers, draw conclusions from the data, and then make claims. In a science or math class students may look at data and create their own graphs or compare two or more graphs. No matter how it is done, the skill is the same across all content areas.
GRAPH OF THE WEEK
Many of our English teachers have their students read an “Article of the Week” also known as AOW. The purpose of the AOWs is to expose students to current events, to provide them with nonfiction reading, and to give them close reading practice. Graph of the Week (GOW) was created by a math teacher named Kelly Turner. According to Turner, GOW will help her students in the following way:
This assignment not only helps our students to become lifelong critical and analytical thinkers, but also benefits them in the following ways:•Improve academic literacy•Engage students in oral discourse•Link mathematics to real-world situations•Develop students’ Habits of Mind•Improve written communication•Give students current events awareness•Build community among all grade levels•Improve SAT, SBAC and Common Core assessments
Below is an example of her Graph of the Week:
On Kelly’s website you will find resources for GOWs including: a student writing prompt, questions to ask your students, graph topics for the year, and a template so you can create your own! She has created an amazing resource for teachers so check her website out!
Graph of the Week would be a great way to incorporate Math Practice 2 in the classroom. Let me know if you start using GOWs in your classroom!