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Data, Detectives and Decisions

Data, Detectives and Decisions involves students in mathematical problem-solving processes. Faced with the dilemma, ?How much time should the average fifth-grade student spend on homework to make good grades?? students begin generating, collecting, organizing, and displaying data to show representative samples of male/female students, and teachers on the subject. Students determine the range and measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode) from sets of data, and use these measures to identify patterns and relationships in the data. During the process, students face and answer questions such as, ?Which types of graphs are appropriate for the different kinds of data?? and ?How are the different statistical measures (range and measures of central tendency) used to interpret the data?? Students use the skills and processes learned during class in a simulated statistical journey called Collecting Clues and Analyzing Answers. Students’ reflections are recorded in a Detective Diary. (An optional oral presentation is included with this unit with coordinating Language Arts extensions.)

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