Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Comparing Distributions Part II - Section 3: Task


It is not unusual for me to reteach this lesson as it presents complex topics within variability. I have also reflected in the past about groups of students like mine this year, which were taught non-common core math and made the switch sometime during their end of their elementary school years. I’ve observed that each year we begin our statistics unit with measures of center, median and mean, students will often ask, “what about range?” At first I wondered why they would ask about range. I realized that before common core, statistics was introduced to students by teaching how to find mean, median, range, and mode. These 4 skills/topics were taught together. Because our approach was more arithmetic, students simply learned how to find these measures without necessarily being taught what they meant. Now, they are expected to understand that measures of center and variability can yield different information and allow us to talk about data sets in different ways.

This year, when I retaught this lesson, I changed the way we completed the task. By grouping students in 4s I realized too many were opting out, allowing the higher achieving students to complete all the work. This task was completed independently and silently this year. Students were given 20 minutes to struggle with their worksheet on their own, writing down questions when they got stuck on a separate sheet of paper. Students were also asked to leave 4 lines blank under each question. As I saw questions written down, I would visit students’ desks to point out where they could find the answer in their notes. If higher students finished early, I would check their answers and then ask them to follow me and “watch how I help a teammate”. They would then be able to walk around the room, helping me to point out the answers to students’ questions in the notes. This created a lot more frustration in students, but it also yielded many good questions that when answered strategically, resulted in deeper understanding of what these measures represented about the data.

  Notes and Independent Work
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Notes and Independent Work
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Comparing Distributions Part II

Unit 7: Statistics and Probability
Lesson 4 of 11

Objective: SWBAT compare two sets of data by describing the center or variability.

Big Idea: students work in groups to compare sets of data in the form of line plots, describing measures of center and variability

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day 124 comparing measures
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