Practicing Data Literacy

The ability to read data tables is not an evolutionary trait we are born with and it certainly isn’t a skill we naturally acquire with time. Instead, we need practice and repetition if we want to develop the capability to read data tables and graphs with ease.


One of the ways I practiced this competency with students was to utilize Inq-ITS.


I put this on the board as an entry or exit task:


Determine how the mass of the truck impacts the acceleration.

Attempting to identify the appropriate columns and rows is really difficult when faced with so much data. Our students frankly need practice. Once I started having my students practice reading data tables, both their reading and math teachers let me know how much they appreciated “whatever you’re doing with data tables”.


From experience, I know this practice translates to hands-on labs and other subject areas.