Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Blogging, Data Fun #MTBoS30 - 1

A blogging challenge in MAY???  Really?  It seems like a way to ensure failure.  BUT here I am ... intrigued, wondering if I can keep up ... and determined to finish strong.

My students are working on a project.  We just wrapped up exponential and logarithmic functions.  Our next lesson involved review ... analyzing data to identify linear, quadratic, and exponential patterns; finding regression equations; and using data to make decisions.

One set of data in our textbook caught my eye.  The textbook set up a scenario - newly elected major, needing to set goals for the city, invited advisors to share data.  They shared 10 years of data in four categories, population growth, crime rate, unemployment rates, and property tax rates.  Students and I discussed the data, it's shape, what regression model might work best, and how a mayor might use the data to set goals.

Then I took that idea and proposed that students find data, analyze it, and present it to the class.  I gave them three scenarios from which to choose.  In each scenario students are collecting 10 years of data in four areas and making recommendations/decisions using that data for support.
  1. Question: How can data be used to prepare campaign goals for a city mayor race?  Your team is being groomed as future leaders in local government. In preparation, you have been challenged to select the city of your choice and to create a set of campaign goals for that city.
  2. Question: What preparation do I need to make now to pay for my college education?  Your team is preparing a presentation for ninth grade students to help them prepare for college. One area of preparation is researching the cost of the better colleges in the United States.
  3. Question:  Will women’s performance times ever surpass men’s?  If so, when and in what event? Your team is preparing a presentation for the school board about funding for physical education and sports education.  You are developing a recommendation based on your study of Olympic data.
Here is a link to instructions/rubric I gave to students.

Friday energy was high, conversations flowing, students collaborating on data and presentation tools. They will have one more class day to wrap up their work ... and then they will share their presentations. I look forward to seeing how they interpreted the data they found.

In watching them work on Friday I wished I had built in more open-ended project work.