At a Glance

Discipline

  • Mathematics

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Collecting & seeking information
  • Discussing
  • Analyzing
  • Creating & designing
  • Presenting

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Binostat
  • Excel

Time

Multiple class periods (2-3 classes)

Instructional Purpose

  • Exploration & inquiry
  • Preparation & knowledge activation

Socio Affective Engagement

  • Array
  • Array

Overview

The aim of this activity is to demonstrate that many continuous data of nature and psychology follow a normal distribution. The value to the students is that they gain a real-life connection to the concept of normal distribution through their own experimentation.

This activity employs the strategy of inquiry based learning, Flipped Classroom, and Gallery Walk. It takes place both in class and out of class in groups over a period of two lecture periods. Before implementing this activity, introduce students to constructing histograms and ways to calculate the mean and standard deviation of continuous data. Students are then placed ...

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The aim of this activity is to demonstrate that many continuous data of nature and psychology follow a normal distribution. The value to the students is that they gain a real-life connection to the concept of normal distribution through their own experimentation.

This activity employs the strategy of inquiry based learning, Flipped Classroom, and Gallery Walk. It takes place both in class and out of class in groups over a period of two lecture periods. Before implementing this activity, introduce students to constructing histograms and ways to calculate the mean and standard deviation of continuous data. Students are then placed in groups and asked to sample a certain subject measurement (ex: footsize, height, finger length). Using their data, students build a histogram (including sample mean and standard deviation) and place it on a poster to be presented in a gallery walk for the whole class. Students are then asked follow up questions.

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Instructional Objectives

  • Students learn that many continuous data of human characteristics naturally fall on a bell curve
  • Students familiarize themselves with the bell curve through questioning percentages of values that fall at various standard deviations from the mean

Workflow & Materials

Contributor's Notes

Benefits

  • Students are introduced to an abstract topic by showing its concrete real-life effects and applications
  • Students benefit from a highly involved approach to learning both from sampling in groups and by analyzing their results during the gallery walk (during which they notice similarities between their results)

Challenges

  • Sampling sizes need to be large enough in order to demonstrate the bell curve (at least 40, but 100 is better)
  • Sample groups need to be picked appropriately (for example, within a similar age range)

Tips

  • In larger classrooms it may be necessary to have more than one group collect data on the same topic.
  • Certain subject characteristics must also be divided by biological sex or within an appropriate age range.
  • If sampling a population is not feasible, instructors can provide online data sets for students to construct their histograms and display for the Gallery Walk.
  • Students need prior knowledge in how to calculate mean and standard deviation of continuous data. They also need prior knowledge on how to construct a histogram.

Feedback

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