##
* *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!*

# What does the Bell Curve SOUND like?

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!

#### Get Your Popcorn Ready!

*15 min*

I begin class by asking the students to take out their histograms from last night. We immediately make a list of Know’s/N2K’s on the board to drive our instruction for the period (actually, the next several periods). Students (as previously instructed) have likely left a few of the lines on the chart blank such as standard deviation, 1^{st} Quartile, and 3^{rd} Quartile. We place these under our N2K heading. The students likely did not have any issues with the mean, median, mode, or sample size rows on the data chart.

To prompt students further in this discussion, I ask them what they notice about the shape of their histograms? Ultimately, the students should arrive at the conclusion that they are shaped similar to a bell curve. I then ask the students: “What does this mean?” Usually, they can piece together that there are a few people who finished really early or really late (our outliers) and A LOT of people who finished in the middle.

As I look to take this discussion a step further, I ask the students if they can think of any other real life scenarios that might fit the bell curve. The students usually do really well with this and it is neat to watch them come up with idea after idea! Drawing a bell curve on the board can help the students think critically about the question.

Once we begin to wrap up our discussion, I ask the students if they know what the bell curve SOUNDS like? This leads me to the microwave at the front of the room! (Make sure the principal is ok with you cooking in your classroom!) As we transition to the activity, I hand out the *What does the Bell Curve SOUND like? Worksheet.*

*expand content*

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- UNIT 1: Culture Building Unit - Welcome to the New Year!
- UNIT 2: Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
- UNIT 3: Sequences and Series
- UNIT 4: Statistics: Something for Everyone
- UNIT 5: Review Lessons
- UNIT 6: Writing Prompts in Mathematics
- UNIT 7: Trig Tidbits
- UNIT 8: Functions, Problem Solving, and 21st Century Skills
- UNIT 9: Polynomials and Problem Solving
- UNIT 10: Probability
- UNIT 11: Imagine This! Imaginary and Complex Numbers
- UNIT 12: Let's Explore Radicals!

- LESSON 1: Statistics - Opening Activities and Discussion
- LESSON 2: Role Play PLUS Flaws and Fallacies in Statistical Thinking
- LESSON 3: Flaws and Fallacies (cont.) AND Types of Data
- LESSON 4: Stepping into Box Plots
- LESSON 5: An Introduction to Histograms
- LESSON 6: Using Excel to Create a Histogram
- LESSON 7: A-Mazing Inferential and Descriptive Statistics!
- LESSON 8: What does the Bell Curve SOUND like?
- LESSON 9: The HOW and WHY Behind Standard Deviation
- LESSON 10: A Second Dose of Standard Deviation
- LESSON 11: Straight Walkin' With Statistics - Day #1
- LESSON 12: Straight Walkin' With Statistics - Day #2
- LESSON 13: Straight Walkin' With Statistics - Day #3
- LESSON 14: Review and Extensions
- LESSON 15: Student Motivated Workshop
- LESSON 16: Let's Help the 6th Graders!
- LESSON 17: Let’s Help the 6th Graders: Problem Work Time
- LESSON 18: Let’s Help the 6th Graders: Final Day
- LESSON 19: Let's Help the 6th Graders: Debrief
- LESSON 20: Teaching Numbers and Excel
- LESSON 21: Muddying the Waters: Formative Assessment Lesson