Preps (5&6 year olds) & graphs. How does ‘clumping’ a series of learning experiences help children understand a concept / skill?

So what is clumping? I often revisit a skill or concept and clump a series of planned  learning experiences for my children. The first learning experience is designed to gather prior knowledge. It’s always interesting to revisit a skill or concept to find out the learning entry point of each child. I usually note their answers in their language whilst looking for misconceptions.

This post follows on from Numeracy: Graphing – Column Graph. The children have completed various class graphs, collected data, inquired as to the purpose of graphs and revisited constructing a tally.  My students collected data on PD’s favourite sea creatures, completed a class tally and recorded the data on a graph for display.

Once the graph was completed my students were asked to make statements about what the graph indicated. These statements were recorded by the children and placed on the graph. The graph will be displayed as a reference point in the classroom.

This week my students will explore pie graphs using a colored bead necklace to help them construct their own pie graph. They will also independently construct their own column graph as an assessment item. The independent column graph will be annotated by the children to show their understanding of constructing a graph, creating a tally and drawing conclusions.

I’ve found that clumping a series of lessons on a particular skill / concept deepens my students’ understanding of what they have been taught. Having said this, all skills and concepts a regularly revisited and extended.

Cheers Nina

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Preps (5&6 year olds) & graphs. How does ‘clumping’ a series of learning experiences help children understand a concept / skill?

  1. nina davis

    Hi Mark,
    I’ve found that teaching a concept / skill as a series of lessons (constructivist) building on prior knowledge and addressing misconceptions as I go, has improved my kid’s learning retainment. I’ve found that the kids develop a deeper understanding and that their questioning and answers show this. I’ve been eperimenting with this across the curriculum areas.
    It’s a busy term. Hope your school is travelling well. Thanks again for commenting. Your feedback is always appreciated.
    Cheers Nina

  2. Nina: agreed – as time spent doing more focused teaching and then making connections to other learning is better than the broad brush approach applied when people orientate their teaching to a curriculum and not people, in this case young people.

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