Summarizing Deviations from the Mean

Through a series of problems, learners determine the variability of a data set by looking at the deviations from the mean. Estimating means of larger data sets presented in histograms and providing a way to calculate an estimate round out the problem set. 

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Remind learners that when determining the deviation from the mean, they subtract the mean from the data point, which results in negative deviations for points smaller than the mean and positive deviations for points larger than the mean
  • Conduct the discussion with various classroom techniques, such as the fishbowl or Socratic method, and have onlookers note what they observe and learn from the process
Classroom Considerations

  • Some pupils will have a difficult time estimating means from a histogram, so be prepared to provide more simplified histograms to discuss the process
  • The fourth lesson of a 20-lesson module
Pros

  • Provides a logical step from calculating the mean to calculating the standard deviation
  • Includes suggestions to build discussions around disagreement in answers among pairs
Cons

  • None