Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stem-and-Leaf Plots

When we got our new curriculum this year, stem-and-leaf plots were one of the "scary" new additions. I mean, really, who uses a stem-and-leaf plot?! I was a little nervous about finding a meaningful way to teach these to my kids, but as always, the kids did great!

We were able to tie these lessons in with our science unit on the weather. Each table group was given a region of the US. Within the groups, students chose a city and looked up the 10 day weather forecast for that city.

They had to record the weather conditions and the high temperature for each day in the forecast. Then the students in each group combined their data.

They made a dot plot to represent the weather conditions and a stem-and-leaf plot to represent the high temperatures for their region.

It took us a couple of days and lots of mini-lessons and checking in with groups, but they turned out great!

When most of the groups were done with their plots, we worked on writing questions for them. I modeled some questions using the example plots I had made during mini-lessons. I also gave the class some question stems that they needed to include. For example:
How many...
What is the difference between...
How many more _____ than _____

Then each group wrote and answered at least 5 questions for their plots. Some questions went with the dot plot and some with the stem-and-leaf plot. When they were all done we wrote the questions and answers on paper and hung them in the hallway with their plots. I forgot to take a picture of this! I'll have to add it later.

Any other Texas teachers struggling with real-world connections for stem-and-leaf plots?

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