##
* *Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines
Straight Walkin' With Statistics - Day #3 - Section 2: Creating a REAL Meaningful Paragraph

The **student work sample** is a screen shot from my online course web page. I asked my students to write their meaningful paragraph on our online course page.

This student created a well-written meaningful paragraph. The additional word that they selected to define was the CVAR (coefficient of variation). The students analysis of the mean and median being the same on a "perfectly" normally distributed variable shows that they could connect the mean to the normal distribution. The student failed to provide an expatiation of a confidence interval, however, which slightly hurt their performance on the activity.

The score given to this student was an 8/10 - with a (-2) being shown for failure to incorporate confidence interval into their meaningful paragraph.

*Writing Across the Disciplines: Sample Student Work: Meaningful Paragraph*

# Straight Walkin' With Statistics - Day #3

Lesson 13 of 21

## Objective: SWBAT formulate their own definitions of mean, median, mode, confidence interval, and normal distribution in a writing and reflection activity

Opening Meaningful Paragraph:

Whenever rolling out a new protocol in my classroom, or a process that I will use multiple times over the year, I like to start with an introductory example that is easily accessible. This allows me to teach and emphasize the process, without overwhelming the students with content AND process. As the students enter, this is exactly what I am having them engage in: a low content example of an important protocol in my classroom. (This will not need to be done every time that you use the protocol, just the first time.)

The opening PowerPoint slide displays the students’ task. To write a meaningful paragraph using the familiar words: Numerator, Denominator, Decimal, and Percentage. I allow the students 5-6 minutes to accomplish this task.

What makes a good Meaningful Paragraph? Looking at examples:

Due to the fact that we will use this protocol multiple times in our year, I have the students write this opening example in their notes so that they can refer back to it. As we transition into the next stage, critiquing PowerPoint examples, I also have them write their thoughts about each sample meaningful paragraph. (They do not have to write each example in full, just their own initial version.) I have the students rank each meaningful paragraph on my PowerPoint from 1(lowest) to 5 (highest) in the 3 categories:

- Provides context to the definition

- Clearly shows relationships between words

- Has a real-world setting

Finally, I have the students rank their own meaningful paragraphs. Although they may not be perfect, this activity and discussion REALLY helps set clear expectation for future meaningful paragraphs!

*See also: Video Narrative

*expand content*

Now that the students are familiar with the process and what makes a good meaningful paragraph, I set them out on a challenge to write one for concepts that we have recently investigated in class.

*Mean *

*Standard Deviation *

*Confidence Interval*

* Normal Distribution*

* ONE ADDITIONAL CONCEPT OF CHOICE*

Many students will chose to write their paragraph in the context of our recent study. Although this is certainly alright, I also grant my students the flexibility to choose other avenues of approach. Place a high emphasis on the three important factors, commit to doing this a few times throughout the year, and you will see your students mathematical writing ability really grow! It also makes for a great informal assessment.

#### Resources

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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