Math Journal Sundays - Bar Graphs

15 November 2015
For this week's Math Journal Sundays, I have one of my favorite math journal entries - it has both the deep learning with the students analyzing the information and applying it in a new situation and the "wow" factor they love.  This Pop-Up Bar Graph is a resource that I have in my store, both on its own, and in my Math Journal 2 resource.

This was a 2-day lesson - we completed the graphing activity on the first day and then did the journal activity on the 2nd day.

On the first day we surveyed, collected data, and built the bar graph.  As a whole class, we came up with the survey question, "How many books have you read this school year?".  We decided to survey three classes so we had a good variety of data.  We then collected the data (making sure to organize the data by boys and girls because we knew the second step to this activity would be making a double bar graph).  From there, we discussed intervals and came up with a suitable interval to use to display our data - 0-2 books, 3-5, 6-8, etc.  For the pop-up bar graphs, we made a single bar graph, so we had to find the total number of books read by boys and girls for each interval.  We made our bar graphs according to the information in the resource, then glued the page onto construction paper for extra support (however, this is optional - they do stand up on their own without the construction paper).  They students LOVED these graphs and couldn't wait to put them up on the shelves outside of the classroom to "show them off".  ;)

On the second day, we turned it into our math journal entry.  We did a traditional left-side of the page thinking, with the reflection being a kind of application, too.  We started with the single bar graph, but to meet the double-bar graph expectation for our curriculum, I had the students take the data we collected yesterday (remember, we had separated the answers from girls and boys) and turn it into a double-bar graph.  As we had been studying single and double bar graphs through the week, they were able to do this independently.  And as they finished, I had them bring their journals to me so I could do a quick check for an informal assessment.  The few students who had made the graph incorrectly were quickly pulled for a little small group reinforcement, where we remade the double bar graphs and added it to the journals.

We're moving on to stem and leaf plots and line plot graphs next week ... stay tuned!  ;)  


  1. I absolutely love these graphs! Thank you so much for sharing this entry, I am thrilled to read your Math Journal Sundays again this year!!!

    1. Thanks, Kristen! The posts are really fun to write and a good way for me to reflect on what we've done in class. :)

  2. What an awesome idea! I like how you're organizing your math notebooks too (left and right sides). I've had my students flip the comp books upside down and we glue in anchor charts. I like your idea better for math. Thank you!