Reflection: Lesson Planning What does the Bell Curve SOUND like? - Section 2: What does the Bell Curve SOUND like?


After doing the first trial with my students I quickly realized (once I began asking for their interpretations of when Points A,B,C,D, and E occurred) that the results were much more subjective than I originally anticipated.  The students actually produced a wide range of values for A and E especially.  Many students labeled Point A as the very first pop that they heard.  Others labeled the same point farther down the timeline.  Still others fell somewhere in between.  To resolve this issue, we decided as a class that we would all label A as the 3rd pop in and see if we would get more consistent results. 

We ended up running so many trials that I ran out of copies.  Fortunately, I was able to print more very quickly from a nearby printer.  Everyone in the class was able to enjoy popcorn because of all of our trials, and we experienced first hand all of the variables that can be present when running a study - even one as simple as popping popcorn in the microwave. 

Lessons learned here: 

1) Look for the lessons inside the lessons, and get the students to see these learning moments as well. It was actually really cool that we were getting different results at first, not frustrating! We learned something from it.

2) Always have extra copies of the data collection sheets on hand for something like this!

  Pop more than just one bag!
  Lesson Planning: Pop more than just one bag!
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What does the Bell Curve SOUND like?

Unit 4: Statistics: Something for Everyone
Lesson 8 of 21

Objective: Students will be able to connect their histograms from yesterday to popping popcorn and a delicious introduction to the bell curve.

Big Idea: This lesson uses a microwave and popcorn to show the students what the Bell Curve SOUNDS like! Delicious and fun!

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microwave popcorn
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