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Survey of the Day – Preschool Graphing

survey of the day

Question of the Day, Daily Question, Preschool Graphing and Survey of the Day has long been a staple in early childhood classrooms… for good reason.

With children being quite ego-centric (a nice way of saying, they think it’s all about them), students learn new things more easily when they are at the center of it.

So, when we ask each child a question, gather everyone in the classes’ responses and analyze the data – children are interested. 

When we come together at the carpet and analyze our newly collected data, I often hear the question, “Which one won?”.  Ya’ll.. I’m telling you… it may just look like a graphing activity from the outside (and I guess it is) but there is some serious goodness going on inside.  

Let me walk you through how we use Survey of the Day in my classroom and I’ll also point out the sweet benefits….

First, let me preface to say, I do not do our Survey of the Day all year long.  I don’t find it necessary.  Plus, I like to switch things up – it’s how I roll. Instead, I make the ‘Survey Taker’ as a part of our classroom jobs. That ‘Survey Taker’ is the one that is collecting data. So, I only add the ‘Survey Taker’ job to the job chart a couple of times a year. 

Now, let me also clarify. I don’t have a Question of the Day chart. I have individual surveys that I place on a clipboard. The ‘Survey Taker’ uses the clipboard survey to gather data on. The reasoning for clipboard over chart, well it’s all social. I wanted my students to practice going up to a friend, getting their attention in an appropriate way and asking them a question. Something that is harder to do with chart on the wall.

So, let me walk you through what this looks like… *Note: I model the Survey Taker steps to the class before I ever give out the job.

  • Students come in and choose a play center.
  • I assign classroom jobs (one of them being the Survey Taker).
  • I read the question on the survey to the Survey Taker.
  • I help the survey taker move from student to student and ask the question. We focus on tapping the child on the shoulder or saying their name, then stating the question and waiting for their response. (skill: communicating appropriately with other humans)
  • The child records the response on the clipboard survey in whichever way they choose. Some will model what you do. Some will make marks, dots or lines. I’ve even had some kiddos write the first letter of their friends name to represent their response. (skills: collecting and organizing data, fine motor skills)
  • Once the Survey Taker has asked everyone the question, I work with them to count the totals. We work on writing the numeral in the ‘total’ box. Then, they place the survey in our Circle Time area. (skills: counting, writing numerals)
  • During circle time I invite the Survey Taker up to share the results. As a group we look at which choice had the most, least and if there was something interesting in the results, like having a choice with no responses or a choice that ALL the class chose. We also learn vocabulary like ‘total’, ‘most’, ‘least’. (skills: analyzing data, comparing sets, math vocabulary)

Now, can you see why I don’t do this all year long?  Yes, it takes some time from me. But, to me – helping children learn how to approach other students in a social appropriate way is part of my job, so I take pride in spending that time.

Using Surveys…

For my class, I created surveys to be in black and white. I wanted to be able to copy them and use them without laminating.  The main reason for this – I wanted to be able to keep the surveys in a binder that lives in the classroom library.  This way, students could ‘read’ through the surveys that we had collected.  I also have students write their name on the survey they did before placing it in the 3 ring binder. 

Types of Surveys…

I used 3 types of surveys when creating for my class. I wanted variety, but not too much variety (I still wanted students to be able to use with ease).  The three types of surveys we use are:

1. Yes and No Questions

2. Questions with 3 answer choices

3. Questions with 4 answer choices

Want to give Clipboard Surveys a try and up your Preschool Graphing game?!

I created 4 sets of Surveys (with 24 surveys in each set). The sets include ‘Getting to Know You’ (for beginning of the year), ‘Fall’, ‘Winter’ and ‘Spring’.  

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