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Elementary School Resources

Data Resources

Teaching Children Mathematics:

  • Collecting Data Outdoors
    This article provides instructional strategies to involve students in the collection, sorting, representing, and use of data. A list of leading questions for exploration is included.
  • Hickory Dickory Dock
    This article discusses activities that can be used to increase students’ understanding of data collection, representation, and categorization. Activities include calculation of the frequency of letters and words and representation and description of this data using tables and bar graphs.
  • As People Get Older, They Get Taller
    This article describes a unit of instruction designed to promote algebraic thinking in second graders. Students examined second- and fourth-grade students' ages and heights on a table and graph and described the patterns that they observed in the data.
  • Bubble-Mania!
    This article provides an investigation, involving multiple representations of mathematical ideas, using bubbles. Bubbles are used to increase students’ understanding of geometry, data analysis, and measurement, as well as the interrelatedness among the strands.
  • A Mathematical Cornucopia of Pumpkins
    This article provides a four-day investigation into measurement, data analysis, representation, and prediction. Pumpkins are used to involve students in measuring the mass of pumpkins and seeds, determining the number of seeds, and drawing scatter plots to represent the data.
  • Sun Catchers
    This article illustrates a real-world activity that investigates how leaves catch sunshine through measurement, estimation, multiplication, and computation of averages.  Activity sheets are included.
  • Last One Standing
    This article describes how an elimination game played for fun turned into an extended exploration of mathematical problem solving and reasoning.

Online Activities:

  • Look at Me
    This Illuminations lesson engages students in the exploration of logical and numerical relationships while collecting and displaying data.
  • Amazing Attributes
    This Illuminations lesson prompts students to collect, organize, classify, and display data in a variety of ways.
  • Eye to Eye
    This Illuminations lesson asks students to gather data about eye color from classmates and other classes. In the lesson, students are asked to formulate questions, as well as to collect, organize, display, analyze, and interpret data.
  • Can It Be?
    This Illuminations lesson focuses on connections between mathematics and children’s literature.
  • Eat Your Veggies
    This Illuminations lesson engages students in the collection and display of data in a variety of ways, beginning with tallies and pictographs. Later lessons focus on representing data using bar graphs, line plots, circle graphs, box-and-whisker plots, and glyphs.
  • Long Distance Airplanes
    This Illuminations lesson asks students to make paper airplanes and explore attributes related to increasing flight distances. Students collect, organize, display, and interpret the median distances for the class in a stem-and-leaf plot.
  • What's in a Name?
    This Illuminations lesson engages students in the exploration and creation of bar graphs, pictographs, glyphs, and circle graphs. Students are also asked to find the range, compute measures of center, and create box-and-whisker plots.
  • How Far Can You GO on a Tank of Gas?
    These Figure This! activities allow students to explore ratios and proportions by determining which cars can go the farthest on a tank of gas.

Probability Resources

Teaching Children Mathematics:

Online Activities:

  • Adjustable Spinner
    This Illuminations applet allows the user to create a spinner and examine the experimental and theoretical outcomes for a specified number of spins.
  • Sticks and Stones
    This Illuminations lesson allows students to investigate probability via collection of data, examination of the likelihood of various moves, and use of basic ideas of expected value to determine the average number of moves needed to win a game.


    Research Briefs


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