Data Analysis Summary

Monday, July 16

We began the session by meeting Tim Kelly, one of the Math Ed Researchers that will be visiting our group. Don explained the survey we will probably use for our presentation to the HSTP group next week. He questioned whether info could be input into a FOLDER or EXCEL document and housed in a shared folder so kids could access the data. Carol explained that we could create the data collection file in FATHOM and save it to a shared file. We also discussed the concept of downloading info from the Internet. Carol told us that sometimes it is very easy, but you must pick your sites carefully.

Roger discussed that we want to have interaction with the rest of the Math Ed Research group that arrives on Thursday. He would like us to meet with them to:

  • Share lessons that we are working on and have them help us think through beyond where we are.
  • Grab the concept of the Mathematics that is being used at a deeper level.
  • Have them give us insight into some key areas of field-testing.
  • Be clear about what we use as evidence for student learning (how we measure effectiveness).

We then proceeded to look at the problems that we practiced on Friday.

  • Don and Marie reported on their activity that might be used after teaching the Triangle Inequality Property. It was discovered (by testing many cases) that there was only about an 18-20% chance of 3 random numbers actually being able to form a triangle.

  • Nancy and Beverly reported on comparing data and finding the correlation between the data. They discovered that highlighting one piece of data transferred to all items that contained that data. Beverly reported that it was a great feature that we can add lots of attributes within FATHOM vs. the graphing calculator, which is limited. We decided as a group that this might be the start of an activity that we might like to pursue. We were challenged to try to discover how we might extend this activity for our final product, which needs to include the math/statistical analysis relating to the activity.

  • Tim suggested that we use FATHOM as a tool to discover the relationships or correlations that exist between data (so we donąt have to do the drudgery), and we could also explore possible relationships we didnąt think of more quickly.

  • Carol mentioned a concern that we make sure the students understand the concepts we use in FATHOM and not just click the buttons‹they need to know how to interpret the info (we could ask questions that we didnąt think of as questions to see if they understand the fundamentals), and we will have to change our grading technique. David and Carol reported on the probability that 3 points on a circle all landed on half of the circle. They found by simulation that this would happen about 75% of the time.

  • Roger took a pair of points and wondered what would happen if we interchanged the axes. He highlighted points and could see the symmetry to the y=x line. He could then interchange the axes and see what happens. He also investigated the least squares lines for relationships because you could see the equations below the graphs.

Roger also reported that the main focus of our PDO was to create an on-going project to extend through the 2 years of this cycle, keeping NCTM standards in mind. Our goal is to develop a product that connects into HS classroom activities. We discussed the possibility of maybe one algebra activity and one geometry activity for our final product.

We then went to the lab where our data was entered into FATHOM. We also learned how to create a shared drive for our classroom.

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IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute is an outreach program of the Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808 and Grant No. ESI-0554309. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.