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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler What could this data represent? Reply To: What could this data represent?

  • Rachel Rohan

    July 8, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Shawn, I have had success using my students’ test/quiz data for box and whisker plots (I used Microsoft to create it for me). Seeing data they understood was a helpful introduction for this often least-comfortable statistics topics (even in 9th grade). Using personal and relevant data also held their attention when I compared two box plots simultaneously – a sudden class competition presented through box and whisker!  Lastly, the topical data helped me assess what they already could interpret and compare before my dreaded pre-teaching (e.g. asking students which class had a greater maximum grade, are there any outliers..). Presenting a visual helped the the 5-number summary stick in their minds, and they can now consider reasonable answers.


    You could use your data from your post after practicing with box and whiskers and ask kids what they think the data could represent (you will likely get answers like number of snapchats, number of hits in a video game, etc.). 

    P.S. to assess their understanding about when to use a single value (odd number of elements) vs. when they need to average two values (even number of elements), you could try a Would You Rather? style question. Kids will always prefer an odd-element list if they actually know how to find the median, for example. That type of question will save you (and them) time to address whether trouble spots are associated with how to find the 5 number summary, or if students are having calculation errors.