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Lesson Plan

Describe a distribution by analyzing its shape, center, spread, and unusual features

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-Q.A.1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSN/Q/A/1
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-Q.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSN/Q/A/2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP4
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP6
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-ID.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSS/ID/A/2
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Big Ideas: To describe a distribution, we should analyze its shape, center, spread, and unusual features. Shapes of distributions are two-fold. We need to analyze symmetry (approximately symmetric, skewed right, or skewed left) and modality (unimodal, bimodal, multimodal, or uniform). Centers of distributions are measured with either the mean or median. We use the mean when the distribution is approximately symmetric. We use the median as a measure of center when distributions are skewed or have outliers. Spreads of distributions are measured with either the standard deviation or the range/IQR. We use the standard deviation when the distribution is approximately symmetric. We use the range/IQR when the distribution is skewed or has outliers. Unusual features of a distribution include gaps and/or outliers. We should discuss those as necessary. This lesson builds on students’ previous work in 6th grade with univariate quantitative data. The task will ask students to plot four sets of data collectively on four dotplots around the room. After graphing, students should return to their desks to analyze the distributions in terms of shape, center, spread, and unusual features. Vocabulary: univariate, quantitative, mean, median, interquartile range, standard deviation, approximately symmetric, skewed, uniform, modality Special Materials: 4 pieces of butcher paper placed around room Circular yard sale stickers or bingo daubers for graphing Classroom data set
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