A few weeks ago I tried to come up with a fun way to discover the uses of a scatterplot graph. I knew that I wanted to do an activity that was engaging and also taught the concept of central tendency, or trend.
I decided on CUP STACKING!
I bought 60 small cups at the store for each group. You can use small dixie cups or small styrofoam cups.
I knew I was going to divide my class into groups of threes. I created three jobs, one for each person.
Jobs: 1. Builder- This person is the only person who builds the cups.
2. Counter- This person counts the cups, and can also hand the cups to the builder.
3. Recorder- This person records on the graphs at the table, as well as the large graph on the white board.
I gave each group 60 cups and three graphs, (one graph per person to glue into their journals after we finish) and 1 colored marker (each group had a different color marker).
I made a large graph on the board and asked that students copy the format onto their own graphs.
Up the y axis- counted by 3’s from 0-60, this would be the number of cups and on the x axis- counted by 10’s 0-90, this would be the amount of time in seconds.
I made every group stack their cups neatly on the table. I then said, GO and timed 10 seconds. Students stacked the cups and when 10 seconds was over, they counted the amount of cups they successfully stacked. I repeated this and increased the time by 10 seconds each round, up to 90 seconds.
The kids had a blast! They also saw the trend or central tendency that occurred in our scatterplot graph. In one class we had time to go backwards, we started with 90 seconds and reduced the time by 10 seconds each round. They discovered that the new graph was opposite of the first graph and had a decreasing trend. UPDATE 12-18-2016, I have created a wonderful lesson plan and activity sheets to accompany this awesome lesson, find it HERE at my TpT store!
I would love to hear from you if you decide to do this activity or one similar in your class!
Peace, Love, Math- Jennifer