Shirley Alt

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (2)

Seeing and Describing the Predictable Pattern: The Central Limit Theorem part of CAUSE Teaching Methods:Testing Conjectures:Examples
This activity is designed to develop student understanding of how sampling distributions behave by having them make and test conjectures about distributions of means from different random samples; from three different theoretical populations (normal, skewed, and multimodal). Students will investigate the impact of sample size and population shape on the shape of the sampling distribution, and learn to distinguish between sample size and number of samples. Students then apply the Empirical Rule (when appropriate) to estimate the probability of sample means occurring in a specific interval.

Reasoning About Center and Spread: How do Students Spend Their Time? part of CAUSE Teaching Methods:Testing Conjectures:Examples
This activity is designed to develop student reasoning about variability in data sets by having them make predictions about the average number of minutes (in a 24 hour period) they spend traveling to and from school, exercising, eating, studying, and talking on the cell phone. The students predict which of these daily activities will have a lot and which will have a little variation. Then the students examine their choices through the use of computer software. The final task in the activity has the students use reasoning about distributions to examine graphs and summary statistics from real world data to choose variables that have a lot and have a little variability.

Teaching Method Module

Making and Testing Conjectures part of CAUSE Teaching Methods:Testing Conjectures
Compiled by Shirley J. Alt at The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Having students make and test conjectures is an effective way of engaging them in learning and helping them develop their reasoning ...