# khan academy - is statistics common core?

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Most of us have colds so today I decided to take an easy week and assigned khan academy instead of math.  So far it's required more input from me that regular math. What's the deal with all the statistics required to "master" 4th and 6th grades?  Most of it isn't something I've seen since college, and never saw until college.  Histograms? I barely understand them for photography, and have no idea what they have to do with elementary math.  And how do you determine what is "similiar" in terms of data points?

Usually I can point them towards a video when there is something strange I don't understand on khan, but there seem to be none.  Is that because it's new common core stuff?

Anyone understand the philosophy of teaching histograms to elementary students?

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I would assume that statistics at the elementary/middle school level is stuff like mean, median, mode, range, and things like that. I have a vague memory of doing box plots in middle school (long, long before CC). As for histograms, most people call them "bar charts" or "bar graphs" which might be why it sounds so strange.

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Anyone understand the philosophy of teaching histograms to elementary students?

Statistics is in my boys' California math standards for K-12 before common core. Its not something new.

Histograms are useful for my boys to plot rainfall/rain gauge measurements in kindergarten science.

Histograms are also fun for children for plotting data like favorite sports/drinks/sweets/computer games of a group of people. Kids like to look at the mode of the data they collected.

Histograms are easy for kids to understand and take up very little class time to learn.

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A lot more probability and statistics did get added to middle and high school math under CCSS. Not sure about the changes to elementary math because CA always did have a bunch in the state standards as mentioned by a PP.

I never heard of a "box and whisker" plot until HSing my kids, and I took a term of college-level statistics. I'd figured out how to read one on my own at some point when I came across it but didn't know the name or exactly how to draw one.

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I guess I was having problems with inexact data comparision questions - what is "similar" what is "not similar" with terms that had not been previously explained.  I guess they just kept asking for the hints until they understood though, because they both finished what they were working on.  I think I'm going to take some nyquil and go back to bed.

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I never heard of a "box and whisker" plot until HSing my kids, and I took a term of college-level statistics. I'd figured out how to read one on my own at some point when I came across it but didn't know the name or exactly how to draw one.

Dd11 had a 'box and whisker' word problem in her SB prep yesterday.  Even the teacher was confused.

Common Core math will usher us into the brave new world, or so 'they' say...

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Dd11 had a 'box and whisker' word problem in her SB prep yesterday. Even the teacher was confused.

Common Core math will usher us into the brave new world, or so 'they' say...

Page 20-28 of pdf (from Glencoe) is for box and whisker plot. There are quite a few guided examples.

http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/mathematics/TN_2012/MC3_se/Chapter_10_895243.pdf

My older had to do box and whisker plot questions in K12 math before common core was implemented. It's in Washington state standards 2008 edition for 8th grade.

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NZ does probability in year 1 (K). This year in year 3 (2nd) they had to design surveys and display and explain the data (as far as I could tell). I think statistics is essential but I think probability and graphing could be kept until after fractions and mode/median/mean.

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So you don't all have kids who beg to do the probability/stats pages first in their books/lessons ? :)

No, I do. This is one of my ds's favorite topics by far. He did, indeed, do the whole statistics section first up before any others. And aced it. And it took him half the time of any other chapter.

He did not have any box and whisker plots though. I've never heard of that either. It wasn't in his fifth grade text

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So you don't all have kids who beg to do the probability/stats pages first in their books/lessons ? :)

I bought some statistics books for me last spring when I was looking into grad school because some of the programs I was originally considering wanted a statistics credit within the previous 5 years & I'd have to CLEP/DSST that (whichever one has the statistics exam). Anyways, one of the books I got was "The Cartoon Guide to Statistics" and my DS stole it away from me to read. He actually got the basic gist of many of the concepts, even if he didn't have the math skills yet to do the calculations.

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Anyways, one of the books I got was "The Cartoon Guide to Statistics" and my DS stole it away from me to read. He actually got the basic gist of many of the concepts, even if he didn't have the math skills yet to do the calculations.

I love that book. When I taught statistics classes, I would always recommended that for students that didn't understand the school chosen textbook.

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As for histograms, most people call them "bar charts" or "bar graphs" which might be why it sounds so strange.

Histograms are actually different from bar charts. </statistics pedant>

In a histogram the x-axis needs to be a continuous quantity (not categories like 'cars', 'buses', 'taxis' etc.) and the 'bars' may be of different widths to one another, so the area of the bar is what represents the number of the data. e.g. example histogram with different width bars from Wikipedia.  (I'm sorry that wasn't very well explained, but in early elementary maths, I bet the bars are all the same width anyway).

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Just whining:  there's something about some elementary-school-level, PS-math-text "statistics" topics (e.g. the box-and-whisker thing) that really bugs me, something I can't quite put my finger on.  Maybe it's a sense that the visual depictions are either so obvious that one can figure out what they mean just by looking at them (e.g. bar charts; I don't think this was taught when we were growing up) or so obscure that they're not something a student is likely to come across in life prior to college-level statistics, if then.  It gives me the vibe that the NCTM "feels good" for teaching such stuff to young kids just because they can, another example of mile wide/inch deep.

If the elementary and middle school PS curricula would just do a really good job of teaching mean/median/mode I'd be satisfied, LOL.  (I'm not talking about middle-school-level probability in this even though it is often lumped together with "statistics.")

I had two calc-based statistics courses in college.  I never saw a box and whisker plot, or much of the other depictions, until I saw them in elementary math curricula  :tongue_smilie:

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Just whining:  there's something about some elementary-school-level, PS-math-text "statistics" topics (e.g. the box-and-whisker thing) that really bugs me, something I can't quite put my finger on.  Maybe it's a sense that the visual depictions are either so obvious that one can figure out what they mean just by looking at them (e.g. bar charts; I don't think this was taught when we were growing up) or so obscure that they're not something a student is likely to come across in life prior to college-level statistics, if then.  It gives me the vibe that the NCTM "feels good" for teaching such stuff to young kids just because they can, another example of mile wide/inch deep.

If the elementary and middle school PS curricula would just do a really good job of teaching mean/median/mode I'd be satisfied, LOL.  (I'm not talking about middle-school-level probability in this even though it is often lumped together with "statistics.")

I had two calc-based statistics courses in college.  I never saw a box and whisker plot, or much of the other depictions, until I saw them in elementary math curricula  :tongue_smilie:

Yes, I have trouble putting my finger on it as well. I know I had to learn bar graphs as a kid, but even leaf and stem plots weren't something we did, much less this box and whisker thing. One encounters bar graphs and line graphs and pie charts and so forth, not to mention basic percentages and averages and the like in the media and other subjects often, so that I see as being very relevant, but this other stuff? For elementary school?

I'm generally not someone who is knee-jerk opposed to "new math" ideas. I think a lot of the stuff in the CC and newer curricula are really positive, but I couldn't quite figure out the point of a lot of the stuff in the statistics chapter that ds did recently in his fifth grade book. It wasn't difficult - if anything, the math seemed super easy, much easier than a lot of the other math in his text - but it seemed really focused on following rules for things that I wasn't sure what they were for.

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I hear you guys.  I did several statistics classes in college and have an advanced degree in behavioral science.  I used a lot of multivariate statistics in my thesis, but never even heard of a box and whisker plot or a stem and leaf plot till I saw it in an elementary math book.   Histograms, yes, bar and line graphs, yes, and by all means introduce measures of central tendency & deviation - but unless those forms of data representation are commonly used IRL, why are they showing up in elementary textbooks?  I'm not bashing, I'm honestly curious if they are useful/critical in some field and I just don't know about it.

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I couldn't quite figure out the point of a lot of the stuff in the statistics chapter that ds did recently in his fifth grade book. It wasn't difficult - if anything, the math seemed super easy, much easier than a lot of the other math in his text - but it seemed really focused on following rules for things that I wasn't sure what they were for.

Perhaps this could be described as another instance of "language" camouflaged as math and/or a lack of mathematical depth.

As for the actually useful topics, it seems to me that bar, line and pie charts are so obvious that when they turn up in content subjects, they won't require more than a twenty-second explanation, if any at all (maybe I'm an overly-visual person? LOL).

Not to go too far off topic, I have a bad taste in my mouth about much set forth by the NCTM (my understanding is that parts of the Common Core were more or less lifted from the old NCTM standards) after reading this older article that was linked on another forum yesterday.  (It just reaffirmed much of what I had already read.)

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Histograms are actually different from bar charts. </statistics pedant>

In a histogram the x-axis needs to be a continuous quantity (not categories like 'cars', 'buses', 'taxis' etc.) and the 'bars' may be of different widths to one another, so the area of the bar is what represents the number of the data. e.g. example histogram with different width bars from Wikipedia.  (I'm sorry that wasn't very well explained, but in early elementary maths, I bet the bars are all the same width anyway).

I didn't say they are bar charts, just that most people call them bar charts. You very rarely hear anyone call them histograms, so the name sounds unfamiliar to most people.

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I used a lot of multivariate statistics in my thesis, but never even heard of a box and whisker plot or a stem and leaf plot till I saw it in an elementary math book.

My kids never have to use those except for answering math tests :lol: The box and whisker plot did remind me of the candlestick chart/plot for stock market analysis.

Statistics can easily be covered in science instead of doing it in elementary math.

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We've been through Horizons 1 through 6, and Saxon algebra 1/2-2, and I still haven't seen the whisker thing. LOL

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We've been through Horizons 1 through 6, and Saxon algebra 1/2-2, and I still haven't seen the whisker thing. LOL

Our Saxon Algebra 1 book had box and whisker plots somewhere near the end of the book.  I can't tell you exactly where, though, because I've lent my book to someone else.  Maybe someone else here can chime in where.

ETA:  I think it was third edition.

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Our Saxon Algebra 1 book had box and whisker plots somewhere near the end of the book. I can't tell you exactly where, though, because I've lent my book to someone else. Maybe someone else here can chime in where.

ETA: I think it was third edition.

If it was an addendum, we skipped them. We're no worse for wear! LOL

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Not to go too far off topic, I have a bad taste in my mouth about much set forth by the NCTM (my understanding is that parts of the Common Core were more or less lifted from the old NCTM standards) after reading this older article that was linked on another forum yesterday.  (It just reaffirmed much of what I had already read.)

full tangenting here :hat:

From the cited reference:

"As in An Agenda for Action, the 1989 NCTM Standards put strong emphasis on the use of calculators throughout all grade levels. On page 8, the Standards proclaimed, "The new technology not only has made calculations and graphing easier, it has changed the very nature of mathematics..." The NCTM therefore recommended that, "appropriate calculators should be available to all students at all times." The Standards did concede that "the availability of calculators does not eliminate the need for students to learn algorithms," and it did acknowledge the need for "some proficiency with paper and pencil algorithms." However, these concessions were not supported in the classroom scenarios, or other parts of the document"

This started the end of learning mental math!  Hide those damn calculators until well into Algebra.

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full tangenting here :hat:

From the cited reference:

"As in An Agenda for Action, the 1989 NCTM Standards put strong emphasis on the use of calculators throughout all grade levels. On page 8, the Standards proclaimed, "The new technology not only has made calculations and graphing easier, it has changed the very nature of mathematics..." The NCTM therefore recommended that, "appropriate calculators should be available to all students at all times." The Standards did concede that "the availability of calculators does not eliminate the need for students to learn algorithms," and it did acknowledge the need for "some proficiency with paper and pencil algorithms." However, these concessions were not supported in the classroom scenarios, or other parts of the document"

This started the end of learning mental math! Hide those damn calculators until well into Algebra.

I wonder what the Common Core standards say about calculators, as the NCTM standards are so old and presumably not completely transferred to the CC. I am off to look in a moment, but I must say that I don't see a need for calculators in school at all. For example, AFAIK, no AoPS text requires one, which shows that math can be taught without them altogether.

Eta, my goodness is it a enormous pain to try to quote and paste on the iPad but I'll try... This article discusses controversy over how much calculator usage will be allowed on the PARCC and Smarter Balance tests.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/08/21/01calculators_ep.h33.html?tkn=YMTFfsuP2uaE9zB4rBpj3w12TMRHJpNKRuVa&cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS1

""Calculators are a really important tool for students, and if they're going to be used effectively in the classroom, it's important that they are also used on state tests," said Ms. Makiya, who teaches at the Leadership and Community Service Academy. "I don't see how good problems that really delve into the eight mathematical practices [in the common core] can be developed if calculators aren't allowed for at least some portion of the test."

Separately, on the statistics issue, I came across a random article:

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/06/math_learning_software_and_other_technology_are_hurting_education_.3.html

In this, the new Common Core standards for math, which were adopted with lightening speed by 45 states and Washington, D.C., fall short. They fetishize â€œdata analysisâ€ without giving students a sufficient grounding to meaningfully analyze data. Though not as wishy-washy as they might have been, they are of a piece with the runaway adaption of technology: The new is given preference over the rigorous.

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For example, AFAIK, no AoPS text requires one, which shows that math can be taught without them altogether.

The chapter 19 exponents and log has questions that according to the solutions manual are use the calculator or trial and error until you get the answer.

I let my boys use the scientific calculator. It's a parental/tutor choice at this point on allowing use of calculator.

ETA:

Calculator dependency depends on the individual. Even if you remove calculators from the classroom, concepts may still not be taught correctly.

I grew up in the paper statistics table era. Where you look up poisson, chi-squared on statistical booklets for high school exams. People can still memorise all the steps for e.g. ANOVA and not understand anything, and still get a decent grade for statistics.

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