3-6, 6-12, Critical Thinking, Education, Math, Social Studies, Teaching Tools


“What’s Going on in this Graph?” is a new feature from the New York Times that will appear on the second Tuesday monthly for the rest of this school year.  Building on the success of a long-running similar activity,  “WGOITPicture,” this version posts a graphic that has appeared recently in the NYT, with much of the information removed.  Students are encouraged to analyze the image by thinking about these three questions:

  • What do you notice?
  • What do you wonder?
  • What’s going on in this graph?

There is a comment section where students over 13 years old, (or teachers) may post their observations, questions, and extrapolations.  A moderator from the American Statistical Association gives online feedback on the day the graphic is posted, and then the actual details are revealed at the end of the week.

The first “What’s Going on in this Graph?” was posted yesterday.  According to the caption, it has some connection to Hurricane Harvey – but what, exactly?  That is for your students to try to discern.  From the comments I have read so far, there are some extremely perceptive students attempting to decipher the graph’s meaning; it will be fun to see the answer on Friday!


Education, Writing

The Other Part of the Story

It’s the last day of the year.  Like many of you, I am reflecting on the past year, and wondering what the new one will bring.  During this reflection, I opened an e-mail from WordPress (who hosts this blog) which gave me my stats from the last twelve months.  Amongst the surprising information that 8 people in Nicaragua found the time to visit my blog this year, I ran across this list of my most popular posts of the year:

Most Popular PostsNotice anything?  Don’t worry if you don’t.  I didn’t, either, until I read this observation from WordPress:

Writing Has Staying Power


My writing has staying power!  Wow, is that a compliment – or is that just a nice way to say, “Hey, your most popular post was written three years ago!  What happened?!!!”

Self-doubt ensued.

Temptations to investigate further flooded my brain.

So did the urge to quit.

I thought about the time I would save not blogging, the periodic twinges of guilt I could avoid by telling my family, “Just a minute while I finish up this post,” the frequent escalations of panic when I realize I have no idea what I’m going to write.

And I realized that I can’t give it up.  I love blogging, and I love thinking that someone in Nicaragua might be interested in something I have to say.  The connections I’ve made and the education I’ve gained from fellow bloggers and social networkers have energized me and inspired me.  There is nothing in the statistics that measures the growth I’ve experienced as an educator since I first started blogging.

Statistics can be informative, but they don’t give the whole picture.  According to Ron De Legge II,  “99 percent of all statistics only tell 49 percent of the story.”

Something that might need to be emphasized to the people in charge of education legislation in 2015…