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School Stats: Real Numbers = Math and Geography Fun!

Combine back-to-school talk with the Internet to create a perfect learning activity! Students surf a special site created with them in mind and compare their school numbers with those of schools in other parts of the United States. Work in math, geography, graphing, and much more! Included: Teaching masters for use across the grades.

How many students are there in your school? How many teachers? How does your school compare in size to the school across town -- or to any school across the United States? Students can find the answers to those questions and more using a cool new resource from the National Center for Education Statistics. The NCES has produced a special Web page for students -- a Web page that provides student stats for thousands of U.S. schools and that's fun to use!


Welcome to The NCES Classroom Find Your School Web page! In the NCES Classroom, students can click on any state, then on any city or town within that state, and learn all about the student population in each of that locale's schools. Students can learn about the numbers of students and teachers, the numbers of students by race/ethnicity, the student-to-teacher ratio, and much more!



The NCES Classroom site opens up all kinds of possibilities for student activities!

Complete a Chart. Chart the information about schools on one of the three teaching masters that Education World has created for you.


  • In the lower elementary grades, students can use Teaching Master 1 to fill in basic stats for up to ten schools, including school name and location, total number of students in the school, and number of teachers in the school.


  • Teaching Master 2 offers a form on which students can fill in the number of students in each grade. (Use this form on its own or in combination with Teaching Master 1.)


  • Teaching Master 3 challenges students in the upper elementary to high-school grades to figure percentages of students by grade level. (Use this form on its own or in combination with Teaching Masters 1 and 2.)

Let your students choose the schools they will chart, or use ten schools that we've selected for you. Our preselected schools come complete with answer key! (You might substitute your own school for one of our preselected schools.) Click here for the lists and answer keys for preselected elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, or high schools.

Geography. Students identify the location on a U.S. map of the schools they choose to chart. At the lower grades, students can color in the state in which each school is found. At the upper grades, students might use an atlas to locate each city and mark the city's location on the map. Need an outline map of the United States? Students can print out one of two on-line maps we've found for you, U.S. Map 1 or U.S. Map 2.

Bar/Picture Graphing. Students can create bar and/or picture graphs to depict statistics shown on school pages. Tailor the activity to your grade level.


  • At the lower grades, students might create a bar or a picture graph to show the number of students in each grade at Coyote (New Mexico) Elementary School.


  • Third graders might create a picture graph (1 apple = 2 teachers) or a bar graph that compares the number of teachers in five different schools.


  • Fifth graders might create a bar graph to compare the numbers of students in fifth grade at ten different schools.


  • Seventh graders might create a line graph to compare the numbers of students at each grade level in several similar-sized schools.


  • High-school students might create a graph that compares students by race or ethnicity at a handful of schools.

Upper-grade teachers might challenge students to create their own questions to answer in graph form; students might work in groups to gather information, decide which graph form should be used to best display that information, and write a headline question for their graph. The possibilities are endless!

My Own School. Students might create graphs to show specific school population information in their own school. They might work from a prepared form that details statistical information about their school, or they might work in cooperative groups to decide which information they'd like to show and to design a simple survey form to collect that information. They might even act as "census takers" and go from class to class to collect the desired information.



Creative teachers can come up with all kinds of activities using the information in the NCES Classroom!


  • Create math word problems based on statistics found on the pages.


  • Challenge students to find schools all around the United States that are similar in size to their own. Locate those schools on a U.S. map.


  • Think of the alphabetizing activities for students of all ages!


  • Use the address information found on each school's page to write letters to other classes. Ask questions that will help you learn more about the students, their hometown populations, the geography and weather of their area, special places to visit, and much more.


  • Have students work individually or in groups to create five quiz questions based on information they find in the NCES Classroom. (For example, How many students are in fifth grade at Frank C. Frisbee School in Kittery, Maine? or Which elementary school in Huntington, West Virginia, has the most students?) Collect the student quizzes and redistribute them randomly. See how the students do!


  • Be sure to check out the fun Games and Activities on the NCES Classroom Web pages.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1999 Education World


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