LOOKING AT ENVIRONMENTAL DATA:
A UNIT FOR STATISTICAL ANALYSIS AND DISPLAY
UNIT GOALS: Pre-Service teachers will explore and gain a deeper understanding of the statistical concepts of central tendencies, data displays and dispersion. The math content will be linked with environmental data to enhance the studentsí understanding of the interrelationships of mathematics and science. They will realize the versatility of several manipulatives, spreadsheets, graphing calculators, and interactive software.
GRADE LEVEL: 13-15, (Mathematics for Pre-service Teachers); procedures are easily adapted for pre-algebra
GENERAL SUBJECT AREA(S):
MINIMUM TIME REQUIRED FOR THE UNIT:
Six 75 minute class periods
CONCEPTS LEARNED ACROSS ALL UNIT MODULES:
STANDARDS ADDRESSED BY UNIT MODULES:
- Statistical measures of central tendency and dispersion
- Use of spreadsheets
- Estimation skills
- Displays of environmental data
TECHNOLOGY NEEDED IN UNIT MODULES:
- Curriculum components - Appropriate materials and technology
- Problem solving
- Investigate and understand content
- Formulate problems for everyday situations
- Verify and interpret results
- Build student confidence
- Solve problems that are developmentally appropriate
- Probability and Statistics
- Interpreting data
- Hand-held calculators and computers - Spreadsheet and computer based interactive tools used in problem solving and concept development
- Classroom management and motivation
- Problem solving
- Small group instruction
- Whole group construction
- Efficient instruction
- Analysis of studentsí work - Use of rubrics
- Use of manipulatives and developmentally appropriate materials
- Content-specific pedagogy - Theories necessary for implementing sound representations of numeric and algebraic concepts
- Science as inquiry - Development of ability to:
- ask questions
- construct explanations
- and communicate results
- Organize data into an appropriate presentation - Use of spreadsheets and computer based interactive tools for organizing data
- Read and analyze data presented in various forms
- Solve problems involving average
- Draw conclusions from data
- MSDE Teacher Technology Standards (draft):
- Access, evaluate and process information efficiently and effectively
- Apply information accurately and appropriately
- MSPAP 6-8:
- Environmental Science - Students will use scientific skills and process to explain the interactions of environmental factors (living and non-living) and analyze their impact from a local to a global perspective.
- Life Science - Students will use scientific skills and processes to explain the dynamic nature of living things, their interactions, and the results from the interactions that occur over time.
- Algebra, Patterns, and Functions - Students will algebraically represent, model, analyze, and solve mathematical and real-world problems involving patterns and functional relationships.
- Statistics and Probability - Students will collect, organize, display, analyze and interpret data to make decisions and predictions and will use experimental methods and theoretical reasoning to determine probabilities to make predictions.
- Number Relationships and Computation - Students will describe, represent and apply numbers and their relationships and will estimate and compute using mental strategies and paper/pencil.
- Processes of Mathematics - Students will use reasoning to solve problems in mathematics, be able to communicate the processes used and the solution(s) while making connections within mathematics, to other disciplines, and to the real world.
TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES EMPLOYED:
- Web accessible computers
- Spreadsheet software
- Graphing calculators
- Overhead projection devices for calculator and computer
TITLE OF EACH MODULE
- Technology enriched learning and real world problem investigations
- Guided discovery learning with immediate feedback
- Computer based estimation and computation
- Visualization investigations
UNIT CULMINATING ACTIVITY:
Student prepares an abstract of an environmental research article(s)-webbed based- that employs the measures of central tendency, histograms and box and whisker displays. As part of the abstract, the student presents his/her own opinion as to the role/function of each of the displays in the article(s).
- Which Measure?
- Whatís Our Water Really Like?
- Can you See the Data?
- Another Look at Data
- John August, Mount St. Mary's College
- Loren Coffey, Mount St. Mary's College
- Nancy Lewis, Mount St. Mary's College
- Jen Ramult, Mount St. Mary's College