Mathematics integration

Science and Children cover, October 2007This is the theme of the October Science and Children. Whether you’re an elementary or secondary teacher, be sure to check out this issue online (just click on the photo) for some discussions on the relationship between science and mathematics and some activities that can certainly be adapted for science students, regardless of their ages.

The articles on graphing do not have any SciLinks codes, so I’ll mention one of my favorites! Create a Graph is a tool that helps students create graphs from their data. There is a tutorial on types of graphs and how to choose the appropriate one for the given task. To make the graph, you enter the title of the graph, labels for the variables or categories, and the actual data. You can even select the colors and fonts! After seeing the graph, you can print it or save it in several graphic formats. The neat part is that you can email it to yourself and receive a link so that you can go back to the site and edit the graph later! This is a user-friendly, online alternative to more complex graphing programs.

I’m currently working with a project that is teaming university science professors with K-12 teachers (mostly at the K-8 levels). One of the physics professors was working with the teachers on graphing the data from their wind energy investigations. He described graphing as another way of telling a story. After he modeled the process, he showed them a graph and they had to brainstorm possible stories. They came up with some interesting ones! It was an effective way to demonstrate the value of graphs as a means of communicating information and events (stories).

The students in the article “Making ‘Photo’ Graphs” (scroll down to the article link) told a story about plant growth with their graphs. Nice work, and they’re third-graders!

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