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Teacher/Tutor - Numeracy

Data Analysis, Probability & Statistics, and Graphing


Reading charts and graphs, interpreting data, and making decisions based on information are key skills to being a successful worker and informed citizen. Being an informed citizen includes understanding statistics and probability. Adults cannot make reasonable decisions unless they understand the source and validity of statistical information.

Be sure to look at the different set of resources listed at the Student/Learner webpage for this topic:

image from siteAir Pollution—What’s the Solution?
Use online real-time data to guide student discovery of the science behind the causes and effects of ground level ozone. This resources contains student worksheets and links to online data sources.

Screen shot from siteCIESE: Online Classroom Data Projects
The Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education has a marvelous collection of classroom data projects. These inter-disciplinary projects all use real world applications based on data from the Internet. The project descriptions include connections to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards and to the National Science Education Standards. Try The Gulf Stream Voyage–an Investigation of Ocean Currents.

Screen shot from siteCIESE: Collaborative Projects
(See above) These real-time collaborative data projects use the power of the Internet to reach groups around the world. Try "Down the Drain–How Much Water Do You Use", or the "Noon Day Project". These are wonderful interdisciplinary projects. Some may require some word changes to avoid reference to middle schools and to parents.

image from siteData Tips of the Month from BRIDGE
Enliven the learning of data analysis with real-time data from the BRIDGE's Ocean Science Teacher Resource Center. Data Tips are learner-friendly scientific data sets, highlighting a different classroom activity each month. An archive of the previous several years is categorized by subject (biology, human activities. ecology, physics, chemistry, climate, and geology.) Tips on using research data in the classroom. Library of online data.

Screen shot from siteExploring Data
This website may sound daunting in its opening statement that the "website provides curriculum support materials for teachers of introductory statistics", but it offers a wealth of information and interesting data problems. Activities, worksheets, and extension materials are offered for patterns, stemplots, dotplots, and histograms. This site was developed in Australia to fill the needs of the many teachers who have very basic knowledge of statistics.

Screen shot from siteExploring Data
This Math Forum website was designed to support workshops on statistics. Included are links by level to relevant statistics Standards; lesson plans for collecting, analyzing, and/or displaying data; sources of data sets, general information, courses, and statistics software on the Web; and an "Oceans of Data" page with a data set (diving records) to download, instructions for making a ClarisWorks or Excel graph, suggested questions for discussion, and related 'ocean links' (NOAA, SeaWifs, tide tables).

Screen shot from siteGlobal Grocery List
Students share local grocery prices that are then sorted and can be viewed online. Lessons are included to suggest ways in which these data can be used.. These real life data are highly relevant to the adult learner and teacher!

Screen shot from siteGraphs
This website offers instruction in how to use the Claris Works spreadsheet file to make a variety of graphs. The instructions could be easily adapted to adult literacy programs; these instructions refer to middle school students.

Screen shot from siteThe Hand Squeeze
Use this lesson plan to develop strategies for an activity in group data collection and analysis. The Hand Squeeze problem is a classic!

MathWebquestsReal Data
This site contains seven different math webquests, written by students. (In some cases there are references to secondary grade levels.) The webquests are engaging and make use of real-world data. Interesting questions are posed, such as asking which cities have the highest "livability" ratings; which airfares are the best deal, and how one can compare basketball statistics. Learners are asked to use Internet resources to obtain data that are then analyzed and used in various mathematical exercises. As the website states: "Math webquests involve reasoning and critical thinking in a constructivist setting. (They) involve all five of the process standards in the NCTM Goals 2000: problem solving, reasoning, communication, connections, and representation."

Musical Plates—A Study of Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics
In this project, students use real-time earthquake and volcano data from the Internet to explore the relationship between earthquakes, plate tectonics, and volcanoes. There are great opportunities to collect and display important information affecting the lives of people around the world.

image from siteNational Library of Interactive Mathematics—
data analysis and probability activities

Use this resource of virtual manipulatives for activities which teach skills of data analysis while using online technology. One of many good activities is "Height and Hand Relationships," where learners plot data points on an online scatterplot and determine relationships.

Pop Clock
While this site is listed for grades 8-12 mathematics, it can be used with students in basic education classes. The questions posed in the site are focused on entry level algebra I students but can be changed depending on the level needed. Students visit the Census Bureau Internet homepage to gather data regarding trends in population. Then they make predictions about future population distributions.

image from sitePopulation Growth
Use these activities and online data to teach about population growth. The activities Involve an examination of linear, quadratic, and exponential models.

Screen shot from sitePopulation Growth and Balance
This website gives learners the opportunity to use a mathematical model to conduct population dynamics simulation experiments. Learners are given information (about oak trees, squirrels, and hawks) with which to run population models.

Screen shot from siteProject Interactivate
Interactive lessons, discussion, and activities enable the teacher to extend hands-on activities in the classroom and provide new content and practice in four areas: Number and Operation Concepts, Geometry and Measurement Concepts, Function and Algebra Concepts, and Probability and Data Analysis Concepts. Each activity comes with supplementary pages that can be accessed from the activity page. "What" gives background, "How" gives instructions, and "Why" gives curriculum context. Probability and Data Analysis Concepts includes an introduction to probability, conditional probability, sampling, expected value, statistics, histograms, boxplots, the normal curve, as well as statistical simulations. Lesson plans and resources for the teacher are also available

Right-Handed or Left-handed
This is another activity for group data collection and analysis. Students are asked to collect data, then organize it, graph it, and finally analyze it. A final "research" question is posed. This site is appropriate for all learner levels.

To submit ideas and resources for this section, please contact Susan Cowles.