Skip to main content

Spring SAVY 2015, Week 5 – Statistics Smorgasbord (5th/6th Grade)

Posted by on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in SAVY blog.

Histograms, five number summaries, and boxplots took center stage at this Saturday’s smorgasbord. Students generated their own data by estimating how long a minute is without looking at a timer. Unlike raisins, which can only occur in whole number increments (statisticians call this kind of data discrete), time data can occur in all possible values (statisticians call this kind of data continuous). In order to display this continuous data effectively, students constructed stem and leaf plots for data grouped in 10-second intervals. We then turned this plot on its side to get a histogram (it looks like a bar graph) and then calculated the relative and cumulative frequencies.

The second activity had students generate more data. After looking at lists of three-letter words and nonsense works (GNW and KXQ for example) for two minutes, the students attempted to recall as many as they could in 60 seconds. By creating five number summaries and boxplots, the students determined that it was in fact easier for them to recall actual words as opposed to the character strings. We’ll use these five number summaries and boxplots in our final session as we figure out which brand of raisins actually contains the most raisins in a one-ounce box.

For your learning pleasure, I refer you to the teachMathematics statistics and probability activities page for some additional enrichment simulations.

My TA Sunny and I have thoroughly enjoyed spending our Saturday mornings with your students. See you next week at the Statistics Smorgasbord open house!

Joe Meko