Reflection: Performance Tasks Problem Set: Texting vs. Social Media - Section 2: Problem Set: Social Media #1


Student Learning Target 2.1 says:

I can represent data with plots on the real number line.  This means that I can create dot plots, box plots, and histograms that accurately represent a data set.

For most students, it's easy enough to master any one of these data representations individually.  I think that mastery of the whole learning target includes being able to decide which representation is most appropriate for a given data set, and being able to justify that decision.

This assignment allows students to choose whether they will use a dot plot, a box plot or a histogram to represent the set of student answers to questions about the texting and social media use.  While written work can tell me how well a student is able to create any one of those plots on the number line, the best way to find out what kids understand is through conversations.

I can tell how well a student understands the simplicity and limits of dot plots by how immediately they can explain why that’s not the best option.  (It's because the number line must be scaled by 1, but we really don't want to count by 1's from, say, 0 to 1000.)  Even a kid's level of disappointment that dot plots won't work is a neat piece of qualitative data.  

As I talk to kids and we weigh the advantages & disadvantages of making a box plot vs. a histogram, I can learn about what they know about each representation.  If they're particularly confident about using one representation over the other, I'll encourage them to take the more challenging route.

Watching kids work as they engage with the data, choosing bin widths, putting numbers in order, or listening in as they work together to divide and conquer: all of that qualitative data helps me understand what kids know, more than I'll be able to conclude from the static work they hand in.

All of this is to say that sometimes it's unnecessary to have written evidence of a student's mastery of a particular learning target.  When I record grades for SLT 2.1, they will reflect my observations from today's class as much as the work that I receive.

  Qualitative Assessment of SLT 2.1
  Performance Tasks: Qualitative Assessment of SLT 2.1
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Problem Set: Texting vs. Social Media

Unit 5: Statistics
Lesson 11 of 20

Objective: SWBAT compare two different data sets by using plots on the real number line, measures of center, and measures of spread. They will also make informal decisions about how to address outliers in the context of a real data set.

Big Idea: If we're going to use real data to answer a question, the first step is to make sense of that data.

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