As we begin 3rd Quarter, we are working on Data/Statistics. This won't be a part of the third grade curriculum in the Common Core, but our grade is still being tested under NCLB so we are teaching the "old" standards.
Before any math takes place, but students have been given a set of numbers, we have the kids "STOP! THINK! Put the numbers in order!" (said/yelled as a chant). This helps them get started correctly, with the numbers in order from minimum to maximum.
The minimum is circled (I call it a little squishy circle) and the maximum is squared (a square is a "strong" shape). These two (min & max) anchor our data information.
Then students partner slide the numbers: minimum to maximum, next smallest to next biggest, etc. The last number left in the middle with no partner (the median) gets a triangle because a triangle is in the middle of a teeter-totter (good visual for the kids).
The MOde (MO=most often) gets a rectangle because a rectangle can grow to fit more numbers inside, just like a mode is more of the same number.
The range starts with a DIFFERENT LETTER, so we use DIFFERENCE to find it! By the time the students get to finding the range of their numbers, they already have their partner slide in place. We teach the students to put an R- (range subtract) on the largest slide, the one connecting the minimum and maximum. THey are also taught a little song, "You take the biggest number, and the smallest number, and subtract to find the range, cha cha cha, cha cha cha". It has helped so much!
I created a mini-poster that is another visual for my students as they are working on data, you can find it on TpT here.