Outlier for Too Long #MTBoS30 8 of 30
This was me:
We are doing a unit on statistics in Integrated Math 1. So far, I’m loving it (way more than I thought I would).
When I thought of basic statistics appropriate for High/Middle school, my mind wandered toward mean, median and mode. I could work with these concepts decently enough. I even understood how they were similar yet different. Only now that statistics is a larger part of the CCSS curriculum am I taking it more seriously (better late than never). We (myself and other integrating math 1 teachers in my district) are doing a unit that includes the basic descriptive statistics. Now we’re working our way through linear regression and my appreciation for the content is increasing, in a concave up sort of way. I’m see the big picture, or at least starting to.
First, we had covered the basics of descriptive statistics at the beginning of the school year. We included some fun activities getting data from various things the students were involved with. Recently we reviewed the content courtesy of some awesome practice via Khan Academy. Yesterday and today the topic was correlation. We focused on developing intuition and applying such insight toward predictions. We used a great activity from @yummymath to try and make a prediction for how much the lifetime gross of Amazing Spiderman 2 will be. We were able to also incorporate @desmos into the work to get some more pretty graphs. Early next week our content team plans to continue with this topic going further and using some data from the students in the classroom.
The awesomeness today came from multiple students having the conversation about the strength of the correlation in a data set was only so-so because there were a few outliers that weren’t close to our guess for a line of best fit. One student even used language like, “it’s not that strong cause it varies too much off the line.” I didn’t prompt them to do it. Nobody did. They came up with half or more of the academic language without me defining it for them. The students covered nearly all, if not all, of the CCSS SMPs with very little explicit direction on my part.
I feel slightly ashamed to not have had this appreciation for statistics before. #facepalm If you’re not including statistics and probability as a large part of your math curriculum, please ask yourself, “Why not?” I consider myself a math geek and now I’m gaining a better overall understanding of how Stats ties in. The support and opportunity it provides with math modeling and critiquing the arguments of others is invaluable. I used to think that statistics was too “fuzzy” for me. Not anymore.