Teaching Middle School Math? Need Data Analysis/Statistics Resources?


A new Star Wars movie debuts in just a few weeks! Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be the next chapter in the saga we’ve all come to love. The first film, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, debuted in 1977.

So, math teachers, how old were you when that first film opened? How old were the teachers in your school?

Only one of those is a statistical question. But which one?

Statistically literate students must first recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data. Since the question “How old were the teachers in your school?” assumes some variability in the data, it is a statistical question. Data related to the question can be collected, analyzed, interpreted, and used to draw conclusions. A statistically literate student must be able to think critically about data, understand the context in which it appears, and analyze it to answer questions or solve problems.

So are you looking for resources to help your students develop their statistical thinking? Curriculum Pathways provides a wide variety of standards-aligned resources that meet this critical need. Here are just a few examples of lessons and interactive resources that provide data analysis instruction and increase student understanding of the investigative statistical process.

Data Depot (QL #3001) is a great resource that contains 180+ data sources in multiple formats including Excel and comma-separated values that can be used for analysis. Students can analyze and interpret data, examine and describe trends, and use data and graphs to estimate values and draw conclusions. You can easily find data sets of interest using the search and filter features.

Data Depot houses data sources and focused lessons that will help your students become more data literate.

Need a quick refresher on the mean, median, and mode? Use the tutorial Measures of Central Tendency to start the conversation. Students first listen to a thorough definition of each term and then review real-world examples to discover how to find each value and when to use it. The tutorial concludes with a short online quiz to check student understanding.

Using the tutorial, students explore mean, median, and mode.

Looking for more detailed instruction and assessment? Unit 5: Data Analysis of our full Algebra 1 course includes four lessons in which students learn to display and analyze one-variable data, two-variable categorical data, and two-variable quantitative data. Each lesson includes images, videos, animations, and audio to engage students as they learn about the five-number summary, how to construct a two-way frequency table, and how to make predictions using regression models. Lessons also include manipulatives that allow students to represent data on dot plots, histograms, and box plots.

So when you aren't watching Star Wars movies, do your own exploring: look for additional resources to support statistical literacy at Curriculum Pathways.


About Author

Staci Lyon

Staci Lyon is a mathematics curriculum specialist with Curriculum Pathways. She taught high school mathematics for 12 years in Wake County and Granville County. She also taught with North Carolina Virtual Public School. She received both a M.Ed. degree in Instructional Technology and a B. S. degree in Mathematics Education from North Carolina State University. Working alongside a team, she enjoys developing the award winning online math resources for Curriculum Pathways that allow teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.

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