Graphing and Data Collection In the Elementary Classroom

pictographs, bar graphs, tally charts

I have been preparing for my graphing unit for a few months now. As a class, we graph many things throughout the entire school year. We have made a vertical bar graph about the type of transportation we use to get to school. We have graphed the different ways we like to eat potato latkes. We have made a pictograph of the birthdays in our classroom. We even are in the middle of graphing how many teeth our class has lost this school year. However, even with all these different types of graphs, my kids still need more practice with the questioning on our standardized tests.

I decided to create a class graphing book that the kids could have more individual ownership of. My hope is they will become more familiar with the wording of the standardized test questions, if we practice it on a weekly basis.  Special holidays and ten days during our graphing unit, is NOT enough for them. About a month ago we started graphing in our books on Wednesdays. It was the only day left in the week, we didn't already have something "special" going on. So, now the kids know, Wednesday is Graphing Day! They will not let me forget! Here are some samples of them working in their graphing books.

pictographs, tally charts, bar graphs

Data Collection

The graphs we are working on now, include transferring information from a picture, to a tally chart and then to a bar graph. They need to answer various levels of questions about the graphs. I tell them they always have to show me HOW they solved the problem. I care more about the PROCESS than I do the answer. They need to PROVE to me they understand the concepts I am teaching them.

This is a picture of our math focus wall. It is a work in progress throughout our "official" graphing math unit. At the top, are anchor charts with labels for reference. Below the anchor charts are various graphing lessons we completed for Read Across America. We are also working on mode and range, so I have the kids figure it out for each graph we complete now.

When I created my Graphing Through the Year Packet, I wanted to be able to differentiate for all my students. The graphs vary in difficulty from creating a bar graph from a picture, to making and labeling their own bar graphs. The questions they need to answer also progress in difficulty. Each student book can be individualized, which I love. Here is a look at all that is included:

elementary school data collection

Data Collection


        data collection


  1. We wear green, sample green foods, and do several fun activities.

  2. That focus wall looks awesome! I wish I had more wall space.
    My graphs are printed and ready to go for tomorrow.
    My Second Sense

    1. Yay! I am so excited to see what they learn! I hope they love them.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Crystal! The kids are loving the activities!