Introducing line plots to third graders can be fun for the teacher and a bit overwhelming for a child. I mean…think about all the different skills that go into the understanding of how line plots work as a strategy to collect data. Kids have to measure to the nearest quarter inch accurately. They have to be able properly transfer that understanding to either a table first, or then a line plot precisely. Once that part is done, they also have to decode and understand the questions being asked to them about the data they collected–which could encompass either one or two step problems. There is so much I love about this skill, but so much for the kids that represents the dreaded word ‘WORK’ and if we’re not careful, we kill the joy of this valuable skill right out of the lesson.
I’ve got a great little blog post on how I taught line plots last year. I turned it into a bit of a STEM project. This was a culminating activity for the kids and it worked out really well. One of the things that I love about these types of processes is seeing kids work with each other and talk through their math. Just click on the image if you’d like to see how I integrated art into this set of lessons.
Creating our own line plots was a great way to have students start out! In previous years, I had trouble helping them to be precise with how they were creating the X’s on their line plots. This helped them to learn how to organize their work and to collaborate with their peers.
This is a pretty simple set up. Usually, I just take a few minutes out of my planning on the day of to quickly put the tape down for the kids and have the supplies for each center in a little baggie. This year, I put together a few worksheets so that I don’t have to think about what data the kids will be collecting!
This freebie is to the nearest quarter inch, which is what the standard is. I can have my students build their model first with their group and then transfer the information to their sheet.
As an ESE inclusion teacher, one of my overarching goals is to make sure that all of my learners can access this content. One way to differentiate is to have students working on different units of measurement. Sometimes, what I do is have the kids work on just inches, or just half inches & inches, and then work them up to quarter inch measurements. This gives them both a feeling of success and helps them understand what they need support with.
Would you like to try out my freebie? You can click HERE to download that.
If the freebie leads you to needing an additional resource for your unit, you could check out my longer form resource that would offer you more differentiation options. You can click HERE to go to that in my blog shop. I also use this spiral review morning work with students after I’ve gotten started teaching line plots to give the students another opportunity to work on this skill. You’ll find this in my Introduction to Fractions unit or, you could get it for free if you join my mailing list! Click HERE to do that.