Math Matters

Data Literacy

Data literacy is the ability to read, work with, analyze, and argue with data. Much like literacy as a concept relates to competencies with reading and written language, data literacy focuses on the competencies involved in working with data. Our culture is quickly becoming data rich and data driven. Almost everywhere you will find information presented in charts or graphical form and statistical information abounds.

In this issue of Math Matters, I'll highlight some resources that can help teachers include more use of data displays and statistical and probabilistic thinking within the classroom to support students in becoming increasingly more data literate.

A Few FREE Ideas

Jo Boaler, in partnership with the YouCubed project through Stanford University has launched a new data literacy site. Click here to check it out.

Statistics and Graphical Displays Tutorial

I compiled this powerpoint years ago to support data literacy with teachers in my district who had little background in statistics through traditional generalist teacher prep programs. Hopefully it will help you too. It covers basics about all types of graphical displays and the statistics we can also explore within them. Use it for yourself and your students as needed. Its free on my downloads tab at

Mini-Lessons on Data

Throughout the years I've also created a few mini-lessons to help my students explore and practice. I offer these on my Teachers Pay Teachers store, but I am sharing one here for free in case it helps you. The ones I have online include:

  • Graph It! Exploring Graphs of Categorial Data
  • Making Cents: A Middle School Data Investigation
  • Common Cents: Investigating with the Slope-Median Line

Click the image for a FREE copy of Graph it! which can easily be used from grade 3 through middle school.

A Final FUN Idea

I wish I had thought of this but its so easy and fun to do and kids will just LOVE this. In lower elementary we often would create bar graphs and real life pictographs using objects. Once students transition to paper construction of graphs, why not try making one using emojis?! Click the picture to go to the post I found with more information.

Thank you!

I hope you find inspiration and/or support for your teaching through my newsletters. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts or questions. I would LOVE to hear from you.


Integral Mathematics, Inc.