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Statistics and Spreadsheets, by John P. Crotty


Guide Entry to 86.05.04:

Share Pamís adventures as she progresses from homecoming queen to Lee High Schoolís leading scorer. Take part in 12 well-documented lesson plans. Starting with a blank worksheet, you will fill in different types of labels. Then you will enter Pamís points. You will create formulas to tie the points together. Now you have a usable template.

Letís analyze the way that Lee beat Cross and then Hillhouse. A quick way is with one of the different types of graphs. See how not every picture tells a true story? Now letís employ some statistics. Weíll find ranges. Move to the arithmetic mean. Then to deviation. Not my students you say? Take heart, this method works.

A spreadsheet is better than a calculator. You donít lose the numbers. They stay on the screen. You can actually see where the variance is coming from. You can play what-if. Make one score closer to the mean and see the changes.

But you say you donít like Pam? No problem. Use one of your own students. In fact, thatís the preferred method. Everyone likes to talk about themselves. Now your classes are interesting. Now youíre a good teacher.

You can also teach this unit without a computer. I developed most of the exercises when I had a remedial class with two boy basketball players in it. I would recommend calculators, then, so the students donít get bogged down in the formulas.

(Recommended for Data Entry classes, grade 10; Applied Mathematics classes, grade 9)

Key Words

Statistics Basic Skills Mathematics Probability Spreadsheets

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