I wanted a fun way to introduce the topic, so, I read the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. I explained that I wanted the kids to keep track of the frequency that the word "chrysanthemum" was used in the story. It was fun to watch (as I read aloud) the kids trying to remember to make their tally marks as they got lost in the story!
Next, I explained that I wanted my students to use a frequency table to help us answer the question:
What are the five most frequently used
letters in the English alphabet?
I explained that we were going to explore this question by using our names (first, middle, and last). We began with an Individual Data Frequency Table.
I asked the students to make a prediction of the five letters they thought were used the most in the English language. Then we completed our frequency table using our names. Finally, each student used their charted letters to name the letters most frequently used in their name. We compared the actual to our prediction to see how accurate predictions had been and I explained that it is very difficult to make an accurate prediction using such a small sampling of data.
So, now, we combined our data by table groups
Once again, we predicted what the 5 most frequently used letters in the alphabet. This time, however, students used their individual data as their prediction. Table groups worked together to put their combined data onto the frequency table. Once the data was in the table, the students found the five most frequently used letters at their tables.
Now, we needed to combine our data into a class data frequency table. To do this, I shared an editable Google Sheet with my students. One person from each table typed in their data on the sheet. I have to admit, it was pretty fun to watch the projected screen as data was input and the class totals changed before their eyes!
Finally, I asked each class to use their class data to name the five most frequently used letters in their homeroom. We will use this as our prediction for the five most frequently used letters in our class. I explained that we will combine all three classes' data tomorrow to come up with a final prediction as to the five most frequently used letters in the English alphabet.
We finished up our day with a Countdown to STAAR.