Reflection: Transitions Measures of Variation - Range and IQR - Section 2: Check HW


“Intermittent physical movement throughout a learning experience is critical to maintaining the highest levels of attention” (Jon Saphier’s, The Skillful Teacher)

When we review homework I encourage students to get out of their seats to find partners (nottrios, quads, etc.) across the room. I also have alternate forms of seating such as lawn chairs and futons where students can sit to review the homework. According to Saphier, a movement break should occur every 20 to 30 minutes to keep students alert for longer periods of time. This year, my biggest challenge was having these 90 minute blocks and filling them with worthy tasks and movement that encouraged focus. These statistics lessons are especially demanding of cognitive processes, so I try to insert physical transitions as much as possible. Once the Do now has been completed and we review the answers, 20 minutes have passed and students start to get antsy, you can feel it.

As a teacher I have to look out for the pairs students are selecting when they get up. If conversations are not focused, I may need to regroup some students. Taking away the opportunity to move around the classroom shouldn’t be a consequence. All students need the opportunity to move. Sometimes, student pairs fail to focus in their conversations because they feel they have done a sufficient job simply sharing their answers to the homework. This is why I usually have some questions prepared to give student pairs that are lagging in their conversations. Here is one example of an essential question for this particular HW check:

  • How are measures of variation different from measures of center? Use examples from at least one problem to explain.


While encouraging movement in the classroom, Saphier also emphasizes a balance with what he calls “learning downtime”. Students become alert when they move, but they also need downtime to process the information received. After students finished discussing their answers to the homework, I had everyone come back to their seats and silently write down the question above in their notebooks, taking 3 minutes to answer it. Those who lacked depth in their responses, or did not answer during this reflection time, were brought in for remediation during one of our study hall periods. 


  Movement & Reflection
  Transitions: Movement & Reflection
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Measures of Variation - Range and IQR

Unit 7: Statistics and Probability
Lesson 6 of 11

Objective: SWBAT calculate range and interquartile range and use them to describe the distribution of data.

Big Idea: Students focus on calculating interquartile range to describe the variation in the center of a set of data

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day 126 measures of variation
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