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Mr Harris’ maths June 12th


It was great to be back with the children this week – I have missed them! We haven’t done maths together for a few weeks because of SATs, my accident and the residentials.

We have been working on handling data this week, specifically survey forms from their residential. The children have been constructing their own pie charts – I know that they will almost always use a computer in the future, but doing it manually a few times uses lots of maths skills and gives them a deeper understanding of what a pie chart represents.

We use pie charts to give a visual representation of data in a way that allows us to make comparisons of proportions. We can look at the pie chart and conclude things like, “about half…”, “more than a quarter…”

The children seemed to enjoy this work (they couldn’t believe that they could spend time colouring in!) but it is tricky. It is helpful if the number of ‘votes’ or pieces of data is a factor of 360 so that it is easier to calculate what each piece of data is worth in terms of degree slices of the pie chart.

Here is some of the children’s work:

Photo 12-06-2015 10 39 02 Photo 12-06-2015 10 40 03 Photo 12-06-2015 10 15 47 Photo 11-06-2015 11 49 18

For homework, the children need to design their own data collection activity and present their data as a pie chart. They then need to draw some simple conclusions that use fraction or proportion phrasing. They have brought home their books and a protractor if they need one. They should use a saucer or equivalent to draw round and will also need a ruler and coloured pencils.

Selecting the data to be collected will be key. Husain suggested a 5 minute traffic survey, recording cars, vans, buses, trucks, cyclists and pedestrians. That would be ideal. Jess suggested sampling 5 overs (30 balls, which is a factor of 360) in a cricket match (data from CricInfo?) and producing a tally chart, and then pie chart, of the dot balls, 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s and 6s. That would be a good option too. A few children suggested looking at the colours of jelly beans in a packet- a decent option, but I think they really just wanted to eat sweets!

If the children describe their idea in a comment, I can give feedback over the weekend to advise them if it is a good idea (some of them weren’t).

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