What is the average number of Year 9 students who would enjoy a lesson on Statistics?

November 25, 2010 § 2 Comments

One of the situations that I’m currently working on is letting Maths serve the conversation rather than the other way round. I am always challenged by Dan Meyer and his approach to hook students with a scenario so that they are the ones who introduce Maths to the discussion.

I’ve found that students can be more interested in solving data problems when the data is presented in interesting ways. My brother works as a graphic designer and his latest projects have been infographics. He is being inspired by these examples and also these ones.

Google earth is a  great way to have students look at meaningful data sets and then draw conclusions or consider patterns. So far I’ve only considered it for Year 12 students however you could easily modify this lesson idea for your students.

When introducing data it can be useful to see why people are interested in data and how mean, median and mode is applied in the big wide world. This could be an interesting video to watch.

At the ELH2010 conference earlier this year @robflavell suggested that this site would be helpful for students to investigate global data sets.  He also pointed me to this interactive statistics site where students can determine interesting trends in data.

Despite this video being annoying and horrible my students did like the melody.

We used a virtual space to help students investigate mean, median and mode. The students would fly alongside trees to measure their height and then record the data in Excel. You can check out some photos of that lesson here.


§ 2 Responses to What is the average number of Year 9 students who would enjoy a lesson on Statistics?

  • Heath McCabe says:

    My students loved the mea, median and mode video too! I used the Hans Rosling video with my students on Wednesday for an introduction to bivariate data.
    Thanks for the Google Earth lesson idea and another brilliant blog post.

  • Malyn says:

    Nice post and you’re right. Though Stats is arguably the most useful maths, it can be the most boring to learn. I find that meaningful data helps. I can do a poll in class or use Aust Bureau of Stats – ABS Census Data. That’s real data that students can relate to.

    I’m presently working as an IT integrator and I’m going to suggest this video to the Yr9 maths teacher I’m working with. It’s by National Geographic entitled Are you typical? I think it can lead to interesting discussions of what typical means and the importance of the measures of location: mean, median, mode.


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