Distributions and Variability
Type of Unit: Project
Students should be able to:
Represent and interpret data using a line plot.
Understand other visual representations of data.
Students begin the unit by discussing what constitutes a statistical question. In order to answer statistical questions, data must be gathered in a consistent and accurate manner and then analyzed using appropriate tools.
Students learn different tools for analyzing data, including:
Measures of center: mean (average), median, mode
Measures of spread: mean absolute deviation, lower and upper extremes, lower and upper quartile, interquartile range
Visual representations: line plot, box plot, histogram
These tools are compared and contrasted to better understand the benefits and limitations of each. Analyzing different data sets using these tools will develop an understanding for which ones are the most appropriate to interpret the given data.
To demonstrate their understanding of the concepts, students will work on a project for the duration of the unit. The project will involve identifying an appropriate statistical question, collecting data, analyzing data, and presenting the results. It will serve as the final assessment.
Students calculate the mean absolute deviation (MAD) for three data sets and use it to decide which data set is best represented by the mean.The concept of mean absolute deviation (MAD) is introduced. Students understand that the sum of the deviation of the data from the mean is zero. Students calculate the MAD and understand its significance. Students find the mean and MAD of a sample set of data.Key ConceptsThe mean absolute deviation (MAD) is a measure of how much the values in a data set deviate from the mean. It is calculated by finding the distance of each value from the mean and then finding the mean of these distances.Goals and Learning ObjectivesGain a deeper understanding of mean.Understand that the mean absolute deviation (MAD) is a measure of how well the mean represents the data.Compare data sets using measures of center (mode, median, mean) and spread (range and MAD).Show that the sum of deviations from the mean is zero.
Samples and ProbabilityType of Unit: ConceptualPrior KnowledgeStudents should be able to:Understand the concept of a ratio.Write ratios as percents.Describe data using measures of center.Display and interpret data in dot plots, histograms, and box plots.Lesson FlowStudents begin to think about probability by considering the relative likelihood of familiar events on the continuum between impossible and certain. Students begin to formalize this understanding of probability. They are introduced to the concept of probability as a measure of likelihood, and how to calculate probability of equally likely events using a ratio. The terms (impossible, certain, etc.) are given numerical values. Next, students compare expected results to actual results by calculating the probability of an event and conducting an experiment. Students explore the probability of outcomes that are not equally likely. They collect data to estimate the experimental probabilities. They use ratio and proportion to predict results for a large number of trials. Students learn about compound events. They use tree diagrams, tables, and systematic lists as tools to find the sample space. They determine the theoretical probability of first independent, and then dependent events. In Lesson 10 students identify a question to investigate for a unit project and submit a proposal. They then complete a Self Check. In Lesson 11, students review the results of the Self Check, solve a related problem, and take a Quiz.Students are introduced to the concept of sampling as a method of determining characteristics of a population. They consider how a sample can be random or biased, and think about methods for randomly sampling a population to ensure that it is representative. In Lesson 13, students collect and analyze data for their unit project. Students begin to apply their knowledge of statistics learned in sixth grade. They determine the typical class score from a sample of the population, and reason about the representativeness of the sample. Then, students begin to develop intuition about appropriate sample size by conducting an experiment. They compare different sample sizes, and decide whether increasing the sample size improves the results. In Lesson 16 and Lesson 17, students compare two data sets using any tools they wish. Students will be reminded of Mean Average Deviation (MAD), which will be a useful tool in this situation. Students complete another Self Check, review the results of their Self Check, and solve additional problems. The unit ends with three days for students to work on Gallery problems, possibly using one of the days to complete their project or get help on their project if needed, two days for students to present their unit projects to the class, and one day for the End of Unit Assessment.
Students estimate the length of 50 seconds by starting an unseen timer and stopping it when they think 50 seconds has elapsed. The third attempt is recorded and compiled into a data set, which students then compare to the third attempt from the previous lesson when they estimated the length of 20 seconds. Students analyze the data to make conclusions about how well seventh grade students can estimate lengths of time.Students repeat the timing activity for 50 seconds, but only the third trial is recorded. The task today is to compare this set of data with the third trial for 20 seconds. Students will need to deal with the difference in the spread of data, as well as how to compare the data sets. Students will be reminded of Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD), which will be a useful tool in this situation.Key ConceptsStudents apply the tools learned in Unit 6.8:Measures of center and spreadMean absolute deviation (MAD)Goals and Learning ObjectivesApply knowledge of statistics to compare different sets of data.Use measures of center and spread to analyze data.