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Graphing our Beans

April 23, 2019

today is the day we’ve been waiting for! We are graphing the growth of our beans. While we work through how to represent our information we are confronted with a few questions and concerns. Did we measure enough? What did we measure actually? Did each group member measure things in the same way? (i.e. measure from the soil or from the table, measure to the stem, to the highest point, or to the outstretched leaf tip?). Should we have watered our plants a bit more?

Was there a better way to organize our data table? Did we collect all the needed information? Are we sure of the dates we measured the bean height?

There was a lot of scrambling to make sense of our information and put it on a scatter plot with a good legend. We needed to consider all of the days, not just the days we measured our plants. We’re going to examine and compare the growth rate of kidney beans and black eyed peas.

Some teams graphed each individual bean plant, and others averaged the growth of all kidney beans on a given day. We then had to consider what to do with beans that died. Do we include them in our average? Exclude them completely?

Some groups used colour to distinguish plants, others used symbols too. When we see black and white with no distinction, we can see an overall trend, but it might be overwhelming as well.

What started as an easy task to “make a graph” turned into a class full of reflection about what variables mean, what data is important, how to measure and decide on a common procedure in a group, the importance of collecting data frequently, and thinking early about how our data will be used in the end, so we can make a good plan.

Today was full of productive struggle!

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