Using glyphs for math activities is engaging and very useful when teaching about data. Glyphs are not just pictures. They give informative data about a variety of topics. One picture can provide insight and data for comparing, classifying and counting activities. This can be a great way for sharing details about individuals anonymously as well.
I used glyphs often in my class throughout the years. It was especially fun to use them when preparing for student led conferences. Sometimes I did activities that were interactive with the child and parents. Then we would look at the glyphs later as a class and work with the data. I found using glyphs to be valuable when sharing details about my students anonymously with others. Nobody knew who created the glyphs, but there was lots of information on each of them. These baby blocks were done during one of my conferences. The kids were excited to learn about themselves as babies and it was fun to make comparisons as a class the following day.
Back to school is a great time to introduce glyphs. Bookmarks and name plates can be glyphs. All about me activities can also be done with glyphs. Here is one that I created that might be fun to try at the beginning of the school year, especially when we are possibly using more technology than usual right now.
Glyphs can be seasonal as well. I like to do one with pumpkins in the fall, turkeys around Thanksgiving, and snowmen in the winter. These are just a few suggestions. There are so many different topics that can be used.
Creating the glyphs can be fun, but in order to really appreciate their value, it is important to see what data they provide. Sometimes I ask the children to come up with the questions that could be asked, other times, I will provide a list of questions and we will find the answers together.
Here are some sample questions that might fit different symbols and what they represent. Here is a blank form that I would use when generating questions with my students. I sort the questions out into 3 categories: counting, classifying, and comparing. These different categories provide so much information. The children are always amazed at how much a simple picture can tell. These are all included in my Steps and Templates For Creating Glyphs.
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You should really give it a try. I am sure your students will be amazed at some of the information they learn through this activity.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.