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Using Boxplots to Describe Quantitative data

(adapted from Annenberg Learning’s Against All Odds: Unit 5- boxplots)

By: Sondra Polan

Next year, I will be mentoring with Ryan Malone with the AP Statistics curriculum. He will be working
with students who are in the first year of our AP statistics program which meets every other day for two
years. Most of the students in this program start the course in 10th grade. For many, it is the first AP
course they have taken. In addition, many of these students are simultaneously taking AP European
history. I started the program four years ago and it has grown from 7 students to 60 students. Although
most of the students are honor students, 20 percent of the program are regents level students. Even
among the honor students, there is a lot of variation in performance since the course demands a high
level of in-depth reading comprehension, analysis, and written expression unlike the traditional algebra
and geometry courses.

I have attached a smartboard lesson of a more traditional lesson that I have used for the course in prior
years. In the lesson, the teacher models examples from the textbook demonstrating the use of the TI
Nspire calculator to create boxplots. In addition, the teacher leads a discussion on how to describe and
compare the boxplots. Although students “get” the lesson, they often forget some of the details as the
year progresses. They also struggle with writing down a thorough description of the boxplot or parallel

The objective of the new boxplot lesson is to create a more engaging lesson that is more student-
centered. In addition, the lesson will incorporate more varied forms of technology as well as the TI
navigator to monitor students’ understanding during the class.

The lesson starts the night before with a homework assignment to view a video produced by Annenberg
Learning. The video provides a real-life scenario involving food (hot dogs) which hits home with
teenagers. Monitoring of students understanding of the video is accomplished by a Microsoft form. This
past year, I have noticed that many students prefer to type response directly into the computer when
give the option.

The following day, the teacher opens the lesson by submitting responses to a survey taken at the
beginning of the school year using the TI Nspire Navigator. She/he walks students through the process of
creating a boxplot and five number summary plot using the TI nspire calculator. She/he will also lead a
discussion describing the key features of the boxplot, shape, center, spread and outstanding features.

Following mini lessons, students will practice skill either working independently or working with small
groups. Students can check answers online by accessing their OneNote notebook.

Although I was not able to conduct this actual lesson prior to the end of classes, Ryan Malone did peer
review my lesson on Monday 6/19/2017. Attached is his email.(peer review)

The UDL guidelines that are being applied are described in the following lesson.
Using Boxplots to Describe Quantitative data
(adapted from Annenberg Learning’s Against All Odds: Unit 5- boxplots)
By: Sondra Polan

Unit Goals:
● Students will be able to describe qualitative data sets based on bar graphs, pie charts,
segmented bar graphs, and two way tables
● Students will be able to describe quantitative data sets based on dot plots, stem and leaf
plots, box plots, histograms, and summary statistics
● Students will describe and compare quantitative data sets based on their shape, center,
spread, and outstanding features.

Lesson Objective: Students will be to able to:

● to create box plots and five number summaries using the TI Nspire calculator
● describe the shape, center, spread, and outstanding features (SOCS) of the dataset based on
five number summaries and boxplots
● compare two data sets based on their boxplots and five number summaries
● use the quartiles and the extremes to provide information about the unequal spread in the
two sides of a skewed distribution.
● use the 1.5 × IQR rule to identify outliers.

State Standards:
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.A.1 Represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots,
histograms, and box plots).
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.A.2 Use statistics appropriate to the shape of the data distribution to
compare center (median, mean) and spread (interquartile range, standard deviation) of two or more
different data set
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.A.3 Interpret differences in shape, center, and spread in the context of
the data sets, accounting for possible effects of extreme data points (outliers).

Methods (e.g., Anticipatory Set, Introduce and Model New Knowledge, Provide Guided Practice,
Provide Independent Practice)

Anticipatory Set: The day prior to the lesson, students will view a video for homework that reviews
the concepts of medians, quartiles, interquartile ranges, and boxplots. The video is produced
Annenberg Learning as part of their Against all odds statistics series (Against all odds: unit 5 boxplots
). The video can be viewed in closed caption and its speed can be decreased. After viewing video,
students will respond to a series of questions sent to them using Microsoft Forms (link to Microsoft
forms ). The video is inserted into the Microsoft form so students can easily re-watch portions of the
video if they are having trouble answering the questions. These questions created by Annenberg
Learning were designed to ascertain students’ understanding of the concepts. The teacher should
view students’ responses prior to lesson to check for misconceptions.
MMR 1.2 1.3 provide alternate auditory and visual information
MMR 3.1, 3.2-activate prior knowledge, and highlight big ideas
MMR 1.1-customize display of information (student choice of way to view video)

Model New Knowledge and Guided Practice:

1. The teacher will conduct a mini lesson on how to create a five-number summary and boxplot using
the TI Nspire calculator. The lesson will use some of the data collected from a class survey given at
the beginning of the school year (appendix 1). The results of the survey will be sent to student
calculators using the TI Nspire Navigator system. (If Navigator system is unavailable, the teacher can
store data onto calculators using a link).

2. Using the TI Npsire calculators, the teacher and class will:

a) Make modified boxplots from the data for questions 1 – 3. In addition, they will describe the key
features of each of the boxplots (shape, center, spread, and outstanding features).

b) Make comparative boxplots of the heights of males and females and compare the shape, center,
spread and outstanding features of both graphs.

c) Do males or females spend more time studying for exams? Students will make comparative
modified boxplots of the average time spent studying for an exam for males and females. Interpret
your graphs in the context of study times.

● If TI Navigator is available, teacher can screen capture the students’ calculators to monitor
students’ progress. The teacher can also use the student presenter feature and select a
student to describe dataset.

MME 5.1 – use choice of media for communication

MME 6.4 – enhance capacity for monitoring progress

Independent/small group Practice:

Student can either work in small groups or by themselves on a series of practice questions (Appendix
2). Students can access a video demonstrating how to use the TI Nspire calculator to create boxplots
(link) and a video on how to determine outliers (link) in case they are struggling with the exercises.
They can also review steps provided in the handout. (link)

Students can check their responses online from their classes’ OneNote Notebook (solution link) or
they can ask teacher to review their work.

MME 7.1- increase individual choice

MME 8.4- increase mastery oriented feedback
MME 5.3 provide ways to scaffold practice and performance.

Summary: Student will complete a short homework assignment from their online textbook. Students
will complete page 69-70 exercise 91 and 105. These exercises were selected since video of a
worked- out problem is provided as well as worked out solutions like exercises
MMR 1.2, 1.3 provide alternatives for auditory and visual information
MME 5.3 provide ways to scaffold practice

TI Nspire Calculators
TI Nspire Navigator system (Access point, wireless caps, software)

Evaluation Assessment (i.e., Formative/Ongoing Assessment or Summative/End of Lesson

Microsoft Office Form/quiz at the beginning of lesson
Teacher Observation when walking around the room during group/or independent work
Screen capture feature from Navigator system
Homework assignment response

UDL Principles

Multiple means of Multiple means of action and Multiple means of

representation expression engagement
Video 1.2, 1.3, 3.2, 3.1 Study Guide 5.1 Study Guide 7.1
Study Guide 1.1 Menu 4.1, 5.1, 6.2 Choice 7.1
Quiz 4.3, 4.1 Menu 7.1, 7.2, 8.2, 8.3

Appendix 1
Survey questions to be used for lesson
1. To the nearest inch, how tall are you?
2. How long (in minutes) do you study, on average, for an exam?
3. On a typical day, how many minutes do you exercise?
4. Circle your gender: Male Female

Appendix 2
1. A consumer testing laboratory measured the calories per hot dog in 20 brands of beef hot dogs. Here
are the results:
186 181 176 149 184 190 158 139 175 148 152 111 141 153 190 157 131 149 135 132
a. Find the five-number summary of this distribution. Explain how you arrived at your answer.
b. Compute the range and interquartile range. Explain what these numbers tell you about the variability
in calories in different brands of all-beef hot dogs.
c. Would a beef hot dog with 175 calories be in the top quarter of the data? Support your answer.

2. Return to the data on all-beef hot dog calories from exercise 1.

a. Draw a basic boxplot for the calories per hot dog.
b. In which quarter – the first, second, third, or fourth – are the data most concentrated? Explain how
you can answer this question based on the boxplot from (a).
c. In which quarter – the first, second, third, or fourth – is the data most spread out? Explain how you
can answer this question based on the boxplot from (a).
d. If a data value is more than 1.5 × IQR below the first quartile or more than 1.5 × IQR above the third
quartile, it is considered an outlier. Should any of the calorie counts for the beef hot dogs be classified as
outliers? Explain.

3. Make a stem plot of the calories in the sample of beef hot dogs from exercise 1. What do you learn
from the stem plot that you could not learn from the boxplot?

4. The calories for 20 brands of veggie dogs are given below. (Notice these data have been
ordered from smallest to largest.)
40 45 45 45 50 50 55 57 60 60 70 80 80 81 90 95 100 100 110 190
a. Make a five-number summary of the veggie dog calories.
b. Make a modified boxplot for the veggie dog data. Use asterisks (*) to indicate any mild outliers and
open circles to indicate any extreme outliers. (Leave room to add another graph to this graphic display.)
c. Add a modified boxplot for the beef hot dog calories next to your display in (b). This will allow you to
compare the calorie distributions of the two types of hot dogs.
d. Based on your displays in (c), compare the distributions of calories for beef dogs and veggie dogs.