Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tried it Tuesday: Graphing Strengths and Weaknesses

Ever since I started blogging this summer I wanted to link up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried It Tuesday. Now that I am back in the classroom and trying all sorts of things, I feel that I finally have something worth posting.

This activity comes Hunter over at Hunter's Tales from Teaching. When I read about this idea I knew I had to try it with all my math classes. This is a great activity to discuss differentiating in the classroom. It also helps build community while celebrating our differences.

To begin this activity each student was given a piece of graph paper to create their own bar graph. They graphed math, science, social studies and ELA along with art, music, and P.E. They could also add up to three other categories. Based on a scale from 0-10, the students rated themselves in each of these categories. Before the students began graphing, I modeled the activity. As I graphed each category I explained why I chose that particular rating. It's important for the students to realize that even teachers have weaknesses. I also let them know that I was not going to be offended if they labeled math lower than the other subjects. Honesty is what is important.

Later the students shared some of their results. This led to a great discussion about how we all have different strengths and weaknesses. 

You can see that this student's strengths are in math, science, art, music, video games and vacation! ELA and social studies are areas of weakness.

This student doesn't see himself as particularly strong in any of the major subject areas. His strengths lie in art, music, P.E. and playing. Look at the last category - homework. He scores that a 1. Got to love the honesty here.

At this point we are only a few days into the school year and already I have a great view into the students' feelings about math, as well as school in general. This activity is definitely a keeper.

How do you have the students evaluate their strengths and weaknesses? 



  1. I do love this idea. I think it's great that the students have a visual of their strengths and weaknesses. It's valuable information for the teacher as well. Thank you for sharing some sample graphs.

    Fit to be Fourth
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  2. Such a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing. I wrote this down when Bethany wrote about it and still need to try this in my classroom.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. It is definitely worth a try. The students and I got so much out of it.

      Quinnessential Lessons

  3. Thanks for the shout-out! I'm glad it worked well for your kiddos.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  4. I loved this idea from Bethany too! It looks awesome! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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