EX1: Water Use At Home

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4c: Communicating with Families
Data on water use at home is collected by students and families for an evening to be used in a class data set.

Educator: Christopher Benshoof [Email Chris]
School: Lathrop High School in Fairbanks

Appropriate for Grade Levels: K-12
Content area(s): Math/Science

How does this lesson or technique improve student learning?

Inviting families to be involved in the instructional program happened in my classroom by using this home data collection assignment.

What does it look like in my classroom?

Timeline: 3 class periods

This assignment asked students to keep track of water use in their home for an evening. The students completed a small data collection assignment at home. When the class met back together the data was compiled into a large group so that individual student information was hidden.

The idea was introduced on the first day and student questions were answered. They then took the data collection sheet home and had three evenings to get the data collected with their family. They then returned the data sheets to me and I compiled the numbers into a larger spreadsheet. Our second class period included a short discussion about the challenges in the data collection process and what possible statistics could be done using the data. The third and final class period was the most important, where we had the larger data set and we were able to construct confidence intervals and do hypothesis testing using the class data.

The key to this activity (why it works so well for this component):

This worked well in my class because students liked being asked to work with their families on an assignment, and parents commented on the activity later in the year. As the teacher, I learned about the students and their lives at home. By using this activity in my class, students were able to contribute to a class data set in a personal way.

Supporting materials

Home Data Collection Assignment Sheet
A 1-page handout that students bring home to organize their data collection

Artifacts to gather for evaluation

  • Student assignment data sheets
  • Compiled class data

The Danielson Connection

This meets a high level in the Danielson Framework because part of the distinguished level expectation for component 4c includes “students contribute to regular and ongoing projects designed to engage families in the learning process”. This assignment helps keep the lines of communication open and encourages families to stay involved in the education of their children.