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Bringing Statistics Alive

This statistics unit eliminates some of the monotony of statistics by integrating interactive technology as well as using statistics from real-life situations instead of randomly generated data. After introducing each measure of central tendency, the students visit the regentsprep.org website to complete questions relating to the current topic. The regentsprep.org practice pages provide detailed explanations and answers to the students as they complete their work. To bring the unit to a close, the students visit a "math scavenger hunt" webpage to complete the statistics scavenger hunt. These scavenger hunts have them compute the measures of central tendency for real-world data and then make an interpretation of the data. For example, the students visit a baseball statistics archive to compute the measures of central tendency for both Babe Ruth and Sammy Sosa and use their statistics to make a conclusion on who they feel was the greater player. They must also display this data visually as a way to interpret the data even further. Next, students analyze Alex Rodriquez's salary for the New York Yankees and make some interpretations of these numbers as well.

Subject Area
Mathematics

9 -10

Objectives

Students will:

• Compute mean median and mode;
• compare mean median and mode in a real-world application to identify their practical uses;
• apply mean median and mode to real-world statistical data;
• organize data into frequency histograms, and stem and leaf plots;
• organize real world information into histogram or stem and leaf plot.

Internet Used
The Internet is used to reinforce concepts learned in class by bringing the numbers alive. Using real data attaches meaning to the computations and encourage students to make their own interpretations. One of the main goals of statistics is to have students think for themselves and develop an interest in math beyond the classroom.

Materials Used
Computers with Internet access are required.

Students understand and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying math in real world settings, and by solving problems through the study of statisitics and data analysis.

Assessment
Student learning is measured by an exam at the end of the unit as well as grading the activity sheets.

Students Involved
The students in the regular education classroom have just entered their course one year of mathematics. This unit can be used in a enriched or accelerated classroom as well.

Teacher Tips
Adapt the unit to your needs and find even more exciting data to be analyzed online!

Overall Value
Teachers will want to adapt this unit because it is simple and takes very little preparation time. The activity sheets are included and the only materials necessary are computers with Internet access. This unit contributes to student learning by attaching meaning to math by using numbers that represent something they see in their everyday lives.

 Michael Ludwig Michael Ludwig has been teaching math at Clarkstown South High School in West Nyack, NY since 2002. He graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in mathematics and obtained his master's degree in educational technology from Ramapo College in New Jersey in 2004. His teaching experience ranges from 9-12 grade mathematics. mludwig@ccsd.edu