Scatterplots + Rich Tasks

Diving deeper into bivariate data and scatterplots today. I’ve been struggling to find engaging, worthwhile tasks around the 8th grade statistics standards. There’s plenty of material online — I’ve been digging through Geoff Krall’s problem based curriculum map in particular — but I’m pretty skeptical of how engaging some of these are. Especially after what felt like a pretty strong success with gapminder.org.

Today I went for yummymath’s Opening Day task. It wasn’t bad–I really appreciated that the it came with data and a set of coordinate axes so my students could focus on graphing and interpreting the data. I think that that tension is key to bivariate data–the raw data is difficult to interpret, but creating a scatterplot reveals a huge amount of information. While it was a solid lesson, it didn’t feel as engaging as I think this material has the potential to be. I did like that it reinforced some number sense skills around large numbers, however.

Finally, if I do this again, I’m going to cut Spaceballs from the data set. None of my students have seen it, and the distraction of seeing the word “Spaceballs” and wondering what the movie was about was a significant annoyance.

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