Interpreting Correlation

Is 0.56 stronger than -0.78? Interpret the correlation coefficient as the strength and direction of a linear relationship between two variables. An algebra lesson introduces the correlation coefficient by estimating and then calculating it.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Provide additional scatter plots to use to estimate the correlation coefficient, and then compare to actual correlation coefficient
Classroom Considerations

  • Be careful to point out that the slope of the line is not the same as the correlation coefficient, but that it does have the same sign
  • Stress that just because the scatter plot may have a perfect correlation coefficient, it does not mean causation
  • Lesson 19 of a 20-lesson module

  • Several scatter plots provided for estimation of correlation coefficients
  • Teacher notes provided for key concepts that may lead to misconceptions, such as a correlation coefficient that is positive has a strong correlation than one that is negative
  • The examples, practice problems, and exit ticket provide many opportunities to estimate and calculate the correlation coefficient in order to determine the strength of the linear relationships

  • None