Reflection: Vertical Alignment Crazy Correlations - Section 1: Set the Stage


I began this lesson with what I thought would be a review of correlation from previous courses, in fact I was concerned this lesson might be too basic to be included in Algebra II because of the review.  What I found was that my students had only a very basic understanding of correlation as a way of describing the relationship between two sets of data. They had never used a calculator to find correlation, nor did they really understand what negative, positive or no correlation meant in terms of the actual data.  We talked as a class about the meaning of correlation and they became more engaged when I challenged them to show how strong (or weak) a specific correlation was.  One of the examples I use  is the rates different people pay for car insurance based on correlations between age or gender and number of accidents.  I explained that there are actually a lot of other factors involved, but that ultimately the variation in rates reflects a prediction about the chance of an accident. 

I believe this truly is an Algebra II lesson if your students do the calculations by hand and your class discusses not only the process of finding correlation but also the value of its application.


  prior lessons does not equal prior knowledge!
  Vertical Alignment: prior lessons does not equal prior knowledge!
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Crazy Correlations

Unit 11: Statistics
Lesson 5 of 17

Objective: SWBAT evaluate the correlation between linear data sets manually and using a graphing calculator.

Big Idea: Is this relationship the real thing? Just how positive are you? Use a correlation coefficient to find out!

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Math, Statistics, Algebra II, master teacher project, 11th Grade
  55 minutes
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