Data collection, representation and interpretation

I look at the utensils I have inside my kitchen cabinet and sort them according to their types of uses before counting how many of each type are there at my disposal. I then represent this information in the form of pictorial graph (I made the graph using Infogram) that shows the types of utensil and the numbers of utensils there are for each type.

Looking at the graph which I attach in this post, we can see there are three types of utensils I have in my kitchen: spoons, forks and knives. There 11 spoons (represented by blue rectangles), 7 forks (red circles) and 7 knives (yellow stars).

Application in the classroom

This simple activity can be implemented in different forms in the classroom, especially for the Early Years. Students can learn to collect, present and interpret simple data using everyday objects that are available in their physical surrounding. Younger students would benefit from looking at simple attributes of objects and recognise patterns based on these attributes, such as shapes, colours or colours. We can simplify the activity further by looking at objects with obvious differences like attribute blocks. For older students, the activity can be extended by using larger amount of objects or using objects with less obvious differences.

This activity  can link to many areas of the Australian Curriculum. Here are some of the links – I use the Pre-Primary curriculum since it is most relevant to my Early Childhood specialisation.

Math:

• Establish understanding of the language and processes of counting by naming numbers in sequences, initially to and from 20, moving from  any starting point (ACMNA001)
• Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications. Copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings (ACMNA005)

Digital technologies:

• Data can have patterns and can be represented as pictures and symbols (ACTDIK002)

Science:

• Engage in discussions about observations and represent ideas (ACSIS233)

Criticism

Using tools like Infogram helps in presenting the data in an attractive way and serve as an opportunity to teach children how to use digital technologies to represent data. However, this tool may be difficult to use for younger students. Alternatively, the same data can be represented through other means that are simpler and more hands-on. For example, students can instead create a collage of this graph which they can display and discuss.