Reflection: Joy The Game of Greed and an Intro to Statistics - Section 2: Generating Data: Playing Greed

 

A traditional approach is to tack a statistics unit on near the end of a year-long Algebra curriculum.  I very deliberately place stats near the beginning of the year, for a few reasons.  

One reason for this approach is that statistics - at least at the Algebra 1 level - is full of so much common sense.  Students work with approachable data sets, and they can clearly see the connections of math to the real world.  During this unit, it's rare for students to ask, "When will I ever us this?"  

If you read on through this unit, you'll see that another reason is that statistics give students a way to analyze their own progress, and by doing so to move closer to the big goal of developing a growth mindset.  As that happens, we have the opportunity to review and reinforce some important foundational algebraic skills.

A lot of the data we use is generated by my students.  Students practice solving linear equations, and we will analyze how well they do on those practice problems.  Students take a survey, and I provide a quick turn around with the (anonymous) sets of their quantitative answers.  And today, we start by playing a simple game.  There's not much to the Game of Greed, and that's the point.  We have a great time playing it: teachers, this is your chance to pull out impressions of your favorite sportscasters.  It's still early in the year, and I want kids to leave the room with a smile today -- if we can make think they're having fun in math class, those good vibes will carry throughout the year, even as the content becomes more demanding.

  Having Fun!
  Joy: Having Fun!
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The Game of Greed and an Intro to Statistics

Unit 5: Statistics
Lesson 1 of 20

Objective: SWBAT collect qualitative and quantitative data, and explain the difference between the two. They will also review the measures of central tendency on a data set that we create today.

Big Idea: To the extent possible, students will generate their own data during this five-week statistics unit.

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