As a quilter, I am fascinated by the intricate beauty inherent in fabric art. Of late, I feel like my work must reflect that same kind of intricate weaving found in a beautiful piece of fabric. I am trying to help my students see the threads linking the different ways that one can represent data. While I always try to do that, I have been a lot more explicit with the comparing and contrasting of these representations. First, I created a Tree Map (a Thinking Map that classifies information) for the ways to represent data. I will write more about that in coming days. Next, I created a foldable comparing and contrasting line plots, frequency tables, and histograms. I wrote about that in a recent post (including a free downloadable version of the foldable Comparing & Contrasting Line Plots Freq Tables Histograms). Finally, I created a foldable comparing and contrasting bar graphs, circle graphs, and line graphs.
My intent with this foldable was to help the students see the ways that these three graphs are similar and different. I wanted them to focus on the kinds of data that each one represents (numerical vs. categorical). I also wanted them to focus on the kind of information that the representation presents (frequency of a data item, percentage or part of a whole, or the change of one variable with respect to another). I included a space for an example so they would have a visual representation (which they could also compare and contrast with the representations on the previous compare/contrast foldable). Finally, I wanted them to focus on the specific common error points for each of the graphs. My goal was to keep the structure of the foldable similar across the columns of the foldable so that students would read the foldable both vertically and horizontally. I also tried to keep the basic structure similar to that used in the Comparing and Contrasting Line Plots, Frequency Tables, and Histograms so that they could use the two foldables to see additional connections.