August 17, 2010

This unit will take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete.This unit was created to give students a hands-on experience when learning and exploring data analysis.

About the Unit: Problem solving in an important focal point in the mathematics curriculum. Students can learn problem-solving strategies by working and learning with their peers, as well as becoming engaged in meaningful discourse in small and large group experiences. Getting students to attempt different processes and strategies to solve problems with increase their problem solving skills.

Links to research: Uslick & Barr (2001) state: “children learn best by doing activities that they enjoy” (p. 392). In this unit, students will be given several opportunities to collect, represent, and analyze data. It is important that students experience how statistics are produced, the different ways they are displayed, and what kind of information can be understood from analyzing graphs, such as single and double bar graphs. Capraro et al. (2005) affirm that “students should have many experiences in making data tables and graphs, as well as using them to describe a variety of patterns and relationships” (p. 165).

Graphing is visual way of presenting information. An excellent way of explaining the use and importance of graphs is verified by Capraro et al. (2005): “The purposes for graphing lie in the conveyance of numerical data in a visual form…and in conveying to the reader the patterns and/or irregularities present in the data that may or not be evident in the table form" (p. 165).

One goal for this unit is for students to understand double bar graphs, its purpose and use, as well as to determine when a double bar graph is best utilized. Capraro et al. explain that “One of the most important decisions for students to make in the construction of a graph is determining which visual method should be used to answer the question presented” (p. 165). By providing the students with multiple experiences and examples of when to use and not to use double bar graphs then they will grasp a better understanding of the model and be able to apply their learning when given a problem to represent data that compares two variables (e.g. boys versus girls). Capraro et al. describe how students will choose a graph to display specific data without knowing the rationale behind the graph or how the audience with perceive graph. “Most students constructed the graph that was most familiar to them or their favorite, with little notion of its use or interpretability for the task at hand” (p. 169).

- Mathematics > General
- Mathematics > Data Analysis & Probability
- Mathematics > Graphing
- Mathematics > Problem Solving
- Mathematics > Statistics
- Education > General

- Grade 3
- Grade 4
- Grade 5

Organize and display single-variable data in appropriate graphs and representations (e.g., histogram, circle graphs) and explain which types of graphs are appropriate for various data sets.

Determine when and how to break a problem into simpler parts.

Apply strategies and results from simpler problems to more complex problems.

Use a variety of methods, such as words, numbers, symbols, charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, and models, to explain mathematical reasoning.

Express the solution clearly and logically by using the appropriate mathematical notation and terms and clear language; support solutions with evidence in both verbal and symbolic work.

Evaluate the reasonableness of the solution in the context of the original situation.

Note the method of deriving the solution and demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the derivation by solving similar problems.

Develop generalizations of the results obtained and apply them in other circumstances.