Have you seen what students often do when left to their own devices with bar graphs? Yikes! As with everything regarding Interactive Science Notebooks, I explicitly teach students how to make better bar graphs. When I made my Science Process Skills Notebook activities recently, I thought about how I teach graphs and I got really excited to share it with you. Yes, I’m excited about bar graphs…

Start with labeling the parts of a bar graph. Discuss the steps you take in making a bar graph.

Use authentic data to practice making a bar graph on grid paper.

When it comes time for students to make graphs on their own without a grid, these are the steps I prefer.

1. Collect authentic data. Set up the graph with labels and a title.

2. Either draw a box or use one that is provided in a template. Measure the height of the box in centimeters (only because they are smaller). Look at what you need to count by in order to utilize your space. Also, reinforce that the intervals must be equal. I’ve seen students just put the numbers they need to use in order along the left side…

3. Draw a line from each centimeter mark and count up by the intervals you determined.

4. Use a ruler to draw the top line for each of the numbers you need to graph. Compare the numbers as you go to make sure you maintain accuracy.

5. Use the ruler again to draw lines from the bottom of the graph to the lines. Use color to make comparing data easier.

As a new teacher, I found this helpful. I love the information you share!

I second thefrogspond. You have a lot of good information and ideas to share. Thank you!

Thanks for taking the time to share your gifts and talents. This will be just right for my underachievers in September.

I am also a new teacher and I found this post to be very helpful 🙂

Ari,

Please keep posting these Time to Teach blog posts. I love them. School starts on Tuesday and I am going to teach your Multiple Trials and Variables blog posts during the first days. I share your posts with my colleagues and we appreciate how you break things down in simple ways so 1.) We can understand it and also so 2.) We can teach it to students in a way that they can understand it. I have so enjoyed your posts that I just found while looking to purchase some of your other materials and I just wanted to let you know how helpful they are to me. Thank you! Jill

Thank you, Jill. I’m so glad it helps!

Yes! Yes! Yes! I am new to teaching science (6th grade) and am finding all your posts very helpful! Thank you.

Yes, keep blogging about what you do! As a middle school teacher, I have found that not all of my students have a strong understanding of the basics. I appreciate your insightful and simple ways of explanation so I can help the, get up to speed quickly! Keep it up!