Our Favorite Things in Math
Our Favorite things,
"What is your favorite season?"
"What is your favorite holiday?"
"What is your favorite sport?"
Each year, for many years, Sixth-grade teachers Mrs. Chapman, Mr. Christman, and Mrs. Redmond have prepared their students for a class assignment by asking them to choose a topic that most interests them. After the students usually grow excited thinking about their favorite topics, the teachers have always made one more request: “Use it in a math project.”
This annual, sixth-grade Math project was not as problematic as it initially might have seemed to the students, especially when it was divided into two parts. Instead, it once again proved to be ingenious in its simplicity.
In part one of the assignment, the students used their favorite subject to conduct a survey and were required to solicit 100 responses, (80%) from their peers in the three sixth-grade math classes, and (20%) from others of their own choosing, who often included older students, staff, teachers, administrators, and relatives.
Some surveys were on unique topics, such as: What was your favorite Newsday comic? Or what was your favorite thing to do on the beach? Who was your favorite: Beatle or Alice in Wonderland character? Others topics were more popular, such as determining the favorite sport or favorite candy of those polled.
Sixth-grader Taylor K. remarked. "It was an interesting project to do because I've never done anything like it before," while Courtney U. added, "Kids were able to focus more on the project because it was fun as well as educational."
In part two of the project, the sixth-graders took their collected responses from their surveys and constructed a bar, picto, and circle graph based upon their data. Whether drawn by hand or created by computer program, the collected data was finally transferred to poster-size displays and presented in the math classes.
“The students did an excellent job this year creating their graphs and decorating their posters,” Mrs. Chapman said, “and we certainly enjoyed watching their presentations.”
"It was a great way,” Sixth-grade Katie V. summarized, “to learn, understand, and enjoy graphs!"
Photo captions: Sayville sixth-grade students discovered their favorite things could make interesting math projects. Surveying the opinions of 100 people on a topic of personal interest, each student created a poster-sized illustration for a math-class demonstration using three different graph styles that showed the results. "It was a great way,” Sixth-grade Katie V. summarized, “to learn, understand, and enjoy graphs!"