Saturday, March 3, 2012

First Data Recording

Well, it was a big week for us! Here is my 4 year old Caleb recording his first data! [Sniff, sniff-wipe tear!] As strange as it sounds, this was a huge mommy moment for me. Our sitter brought this basil kitchen seed kit and helped Caleb plant it. Once the seedlings began to emerge I casually had him to describe what he was seeing. Ya know, working on those scientific observation skills! Once it became clear that the seedling looked different everyday, HE had the idea that we should measure them. So of course I obliged!

We decided to name the tallest plant "A," the next tallest plant "B" and so on. Then every few days we take our measurements. At first we were just writing the numbers on a scrap piece of paper, but once it became clear that Caleb was committed to the project, we got out a ruler and made a data table (joy in my heart).

As you can see from the photo, we are using a sewing measuring tool. Its great because of the red moveable slide that allows him to move it to the highest part of the plant and the together we figure out what the numbers say. We of course are measuring in metric.

Writing letters and numbers are not a favorite activity for this young man, but what a difference it makes when there is purpose in writing the numbers! In context-learning makes so much more sense! Instead of sitting and writing numbers on a worksheet over and over, we collect and record data on our data table. We are using the desk mate from confessions of a homeschooler here as a reference of what the numbers should look like.

As the author of the STEM Student Handbook, I am interested in observing the unadulterated enthusiasm for recording change. I'm used to working with high school students, so seeing how observing and recording is a natural tendency gives me new insight into the scientific process!

Science Sunday


  1. There are so many things in nature to observe, count, and measure. Especially when it's all so new and exciting. Not only how tall do seedlings get, but how fast. And how many were planted vs how many came up? If ten were planted, then x out of 10 is a growing number but also a percentage! Caleb looks really engrossed. I was that way at that age.

  2. Yes, he's really enjoying watching them grow. We had our first one die this week, so we had to put a frowny face on our data table.

  3. I was looking at the first picture of him measuring and going "I think that's a seam gauge," and then I read sewing measuring tools...... Awesome!

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday.


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