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5 Number Summary 5 Finger Summary

Let’s take a moment to reminisce.  There aren’t a ton of things I remember from first grade.  I remember my teacher’s name was Mrs. Charboneau.  That was hard to spell as a first grader!  We colored teddy bears on the first day of school.  One of our assignments for the year was to count to 100 for our teacher.  And, my favorite math worksheets were the ones that said 2 + box = 5.

I also remember getting back worksheets about reading the time from a clock that were covered in red ink.  Analog clocks and I didn’t get along for the longest of times.  That all changed when my parents bought me my first watch.  It had 5, 10, 15, 20, etc written around the circumference.  I was super proud of that watch, and I actually still have it.  Now that I think of it, that’s kinda weird…  

You know what else I remember?  If we finished early with an assignment, we were supposed to turn it over and draw a picture while we waited for our classmates to finish.  Now, I’m not the most artistic of people.  But, I can trace.  So, my usual go-to was to trace my hand and decorate it with rings and pretty fingernails.

The other day in stats, I had my students trace their hands to make a summary of five number summaries.  One of my students has a broken arm, so we had to have someone else trace their hand on his paper.  I was really confused when he told me he couldn’t do the assignment.  Then, when I realized what he meant, I felt really bad.    

Traced hand with five key elements of five number summary written on top

And, for the record, my ring finger isn’t deformed.  @theshauncarter just decided to, you know, put a ring on it.  I didn’t have this problem in the first grade, so I didn’t really think about it until I’d already started…


Thursday 27th of February 2020

I have taught this way for years, and my students always can remember a box and whisker plot!


Saturday 17th of October 2015

Congratulations!!! How exciting! Did I miss a blog with details of how it all went down?


Tuesday 13th of October 2015


Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Saturday 17th of October 2015

Thanks Kathryn! We're both super excited!