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Welcome to my math blog! The purpose of this blog is to help you stay informed about our learning and experiences that have taken place during our math class. I have also included links your child (and you) may want to use in order to supplement math learning in 5th grade.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Line Plots (with Data Characteristics)

Line plots.... a great way to organize data (especially when you have many values).  To explain line plots, I began by having the students watch a short Study Jams video.  Then I asked them to get out their data from yesterday's activity:  How Many Drops of Water Does a Penny Hold?  We combined all three classes data from the "heads" experiment to work with.

In their journal, we created a blank line across the bottom of the page and gave our line plot a title.  Next we used our list of data to find our greatest value (27) and our smallest value (13).  We used these to values to determine how to label our line plot.  We began with 13 and continued to 27.  Our next step was to place an "x" above each value that we had listed.  

Once the line plot was ready, we could analyze our data.  We could easily find range (27-13 = 14).  We could easily find our mode (20).  We used our calculator to find the mean (386 divided by 18 = 21).  We were able to easily find the median by making off the greatest and smallest until we were left with 20.

To finish off the lesson, we needed to revisit our vocabulary terms from yesterday:  cluster, gap, outlier.  Cluster was easy to demonstrate as our data naturally formed a cluster.  I asked the classes to put a fake outlier on their line plot.  This allowed us the see the difference between the outlier and the cluster.  It also allowed us to find the gap between.

To finish up the class, I gave the kids an activity from the book:  Good Questions for Math Teaching:  Why Ask Them and What to Ask, Grades 5-8 by Lainie Schuster and Nancy Canavan Anderson.  The activity description is on p. 117.  It gives the students 5 plots that do not have titles.  The students are to match the titles to the line plot.  The students were also presented with three questions.  I asked them to choose only 1.  They either needed to explain why they selected the line plot for Set D; or they needed to explain why they didn't choose the other line plots for Set D; or they could determine a title for Plot 4 and explain their reasoning.

HOMEWORK:  Countdown 6.5

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