## Classroom Paper

Students participate in an activity in which they investigate data in connection with recyclable materials and develop plans to help the environment. This activity requires students to keep track of their own paper use for a week then interpret their results with partners. After studying information on paper use, students will be ready to discuss ideas and implement plans for saving paper in the classroom.

Distribute the Classroom Paper Activity Sheet early in the school week, perhaps on a Monday. Ask students about the many ways they use paper in the classroom.

Classroom Paper Activity Sheet

Have them record on the activity sheet their predictions for the number of pieces of paper each will use during the day. Help students date each entry. Students should keep the activity sheet available during the day and record a tally mark each time they use a sheet of paper.

At the end of the day, have students count their tally marks and record that data as a numeral in the chart.

Each day for the next four days, have students repeat the preceding directions. They may want to consider their estimates on the basis of the results of the previous days.

When the data collection is completed, students should create a line graph on the activity sheet as a way of displaying the data. Students should answer question 2 on the activity sheet as a way of interpreting their own graphs.

Next, each student should write two questions for a partner to answer (see question 3.) Students should exchange their activity sheets with a partner to answer the other's questions.

Discuss some of the observations, questions, and answers. Have each student answer question 4 and share the answer with a small group. Discuss the findings in general.

- Were the results surprising?
- Do students think they are using too much paper?
- What are some ideas for saving paper?

Have each student write a plan for saving paper in the classroom by answering question 5. Ask students how they will implement their plans.

### Reference

- Shaw, Jean M. and Firkins, John. September, 1993. The Arithmetic Teacher. p 27-40.

- Classroom Paper Activity Sheet
- Paper items from the classroom that have been discarded

**Extensions**

- Appoint a committee of students to make a poster based on some of the suggestions for saving paper. Display the poster in the classroom or present it to another class.
- After a week or two, have students complete another graph on
paper. Use this to compare those graph results with the previous ones.
Answer questions such as :
- Are the number of pieces of paper you use before and after you implemented your plan different?

- Have groups examine and compare their graphs and discuss things they notice. For example, why might numbers vary from student to student? Why might some days show everyone using more pieces or fewer pieces of paper than on other days? Have group members share an interesting idea with the class.
- Students can create a second line graph to plot their predictions. How do the predictions and actual data compare?

### Aluminum Cans

### How to Bag It?

### Plastic Packaging

### Learning Objectives

- gather information about paper use over a period of several days.
- graph the data and interpret information found in the graph.
- use the data as a basis for future planning.

### NCTM Standards and Expectations

- Design investigations to address a question and consider how data-collection methods affect the nature of the data set.

- Collect data using observations, surveys, and experiments.

- Represent data using tables and graphs such as line plots, bar graphs, and line graphs.

- Compare different representations of the same data and evaluate how well each representation shows important aspects of the data.