Snippets and Links

  • NCTM Illuminations Advance Data Grapher The Advanced Data Grapher can be used to analyze data with box plots, bubble graphs, scatterplots, histograms, and stem-and-leaf plots. You can enter multiple rows and columns of data, select which set(s) to display in a graph, and choose the type of representation.
  • Athletics is an excellent source of examples of how data is collected and is relevant for many students.
  • American Statistical AssociationQuarterly Statistics Teacher Network Newsletters are available.
  • Amazing free tools you never knew about -Gapminder & Google data tools-Endless possibilities for EDU

Human Bar Graph

  • Use the number of people in your family, number of pets or another number students would have some interest in exploring.
  • Create human bar graph, have students stack themselves along appropriate x-axis, then note mode and range
  • Move bar graph to a single line in order from low to high, fold the line to find median, fold again to find quartiles
  • Have labels (minimum, 1st quartile, median-second quartile, 3rd quartile, maximum) for critical point to create a box plot
    • move critical points to number line to show how the length of the whiskers and parts demonstrates the spread of data
  • To develop flexibility and understanding of what the mean represents distribute pennies or chips to each person for the number of people in their family. Equally distribute the coins to find the mean without dividing.
  • See other ideas for collecting data with box plots below.

Homework Sums

  • See a video demo Divide students into groups of 3. Each person receives a set of numbers. Each student finds the median of their group. The sums of the median of all three students is shown to the teacher. If the sum is correct the groups goes to the mode, if the sum is incorrect they find the error and try again. Complete with finding mean and range.

Piecemeal Problem

  • Cooperative activity where a problem is divided into parts. Each person in the group receives a part of the problem. They use the parts to solve the problem and then go to another problem. Piece-meal Problems stats.doc


Correlation Stations Students plot data for several questions that show positive, negative, or no correlation. Have students predict the relationship before beginning. Students plot data at each station. This blog shows sample pictures of the graphs as well as recommendations for conducting the activity. Sample questions:
  • Arm span--height (positive)
  • # of letters in first name--# of letters in last name (none)
  • Day of your birthday--# of days remaining in the month (negative)
  • Drive your car 400 miles. Average speed--time to travel the 400 miles (negative)

Go Low or Go Home

  • pick a whole number, if your number is chosen by someone else the number is out, and low number wins.
  • From Dan Meyer, see blog post
  • video for instructions
  • create a distribution of numbers selected, provide data of mode, median, mean, range, box plot
    • complete box blot activities with students (see below)
  • play for a few days and have students discuss game strategy
  • play several days and create a distribution of numbers that win
  • does the strategy change if the winning student is awarded bonus point or money which match the winning number.

Box Plots

  • box and whisker.doc How to create a box and whisker plot by folding a strip of paper. Also hints about using in your classroom.
  • Box & Whisker practice.pdf Practice activity and worksheet on using box plots.
  • Human box and whiskers.pdf Making a human box and whisker plot.
  • How Old is the Oldest Person You’ve Know? Video of Commercial
    Recreate the advertisement with students. Three groups could be compared. Use data from students, their parent/guardians, and grandparent or other relative. Use this data to create graphs and box plots to compare the collected data. Predict differences in the data spread, mean, medians, outliers and other measures. Create a live dot plot with students and scores. Arrange in line and fold to find median, 1st and 3rd quartiles and create a box plot with rope. Related information found in article “How Old is the Oldest Person You’ve Know?”, Teaching Children Mathematics December 2014 p 278-285

Stats Activities

  • What is My Question?
    • A question with a number answer is placed on each person’s back. The person goes around the room and collects data from the class about what they think is the answer to the question. Students use the data to guess their question. Student then use the data and calculate mean, median, mode, range and make a graphical representation. Number questions.doc This document contains the questions and sources of questions.
  • Statistics activities:
  • Inch Boy activity.doc Outliers can influence the measures of central tendency. This activity is designed to help students see what can happen to a set of data that has outliers added to the data set. Students will calculate the mean, median, mode, range and create a box and whisker plot. After the calculations are completed an outlier, “the Inch Boy” is added to the group. The measures are recalculated. The Inch Boy leaves the group and Yao Ming, the tallest player in the NBA is added. A final set of calculations is completed with both Yao Ming and the Inch Boy as members of the group.
  • Piece-meal Problems stats.doc A problem is divided into part and information is given to 4 students who must then work together with their information to solve the problem. Four different problems are given.
  • How Long Can You Stand.doc This activity looks at data collected from how long students can stand on their right and left feet.

Standard Deviation