All through elementary school, children build their mathematical graphing skills. This skill helps children to analyze data quickly by learning to read and create graphs. It is also a difficult skill for children to master. Scaffolding the learning of graphing is very important. There are many activities you can do at home to support your child’s graphing growth.
Children begin learning about graphs through picture bar graphs. Teachers typically will ask the students a question like “what is your favorite type of apple: Red, Green, or Yellow?” and then graph it with the children either using pictures or even actual apples. This tactile activity allows the children to be kinesthetically and visually involved in learning graphing skills. Here is an example of this activity.
This method can be mimicked at home by finding similar topics that your child can physically graph. Have your child graph their stuffed animals. You can use masking tape on the floor to create the columns and then have them organize their animals by color, type, or even size. You could also have your child graph their favorite cereal or candy separating them by color or byshapes. While doing these activities at home you should ask questions like “How many pink stuffed animals do you have?”, “How many do you have in all?”, or “Which column has the most?” This allows them to make mathematical calculations based on the visual graph.