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Blossom'sGirl

Foerster Algebra 1 - add more statistics/ data analysis?

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I am wondering if anyone who has used this book has felt the need to add in more graph and statistics teaching than is offered in the book?  I am specifically thinking of chapter 8 which covers scattered data, linear regression, and probability.  I live in NY and looked at what is covered for the Regents exams.(which we haven't pursued to date, but you never know)  If I am reading correctly, I also see box plots, stem-and-leaf plots and a lot of statistical vocabulary.  If you have felt the need to add, what did you use?

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I didn’t add anything for one student but he followed up AoPS and Foerster with Larson textbook for precalc with a teacher, so maybe these things were covered a bit there?

I am adding in some Khan Academy for those topics you mentioned for my next students, started in prealgebra. I noticed last year that those sorts of plots were showing up in the newer elementary standardized testing, so I thought it might be a good idea.

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Statistics is not part of Algebra 1 or Algebra 2-- so it is rare to see more than a glance in a traditional text book.  Statistics is a different/separate subject that 'uses' math.

Algebra 1 is like the ABC's of equation manipulation-- by Algebra 2 students are moving onto simple sentences (problem solving).  Pre-Calc would be paragraphs with Calculus and other college maths being the essays.  I would classify Statistics as creative writing-- decent statistical application/analysis problems require a solid knowledge of Algebra 2--and some Pre-Calculus.

Some states and standardized tests (like ones who use or are based on common core) are trying to force an additional course into an already full high school math sequence-- Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, Calculus--and now Statistics! 

I have nothing against statistics--in fact I kind of like the subject-- but it is hard to whittle away parts of other foundation topics to make room.  Forcing younger students to take Algebra 1 seems to be the biggest trend --one I'm sad about as the majority of these younger students are not thriving-- or they are getting by on patterning and watered down material instead of conceptual understanding.  They are being pushed ahead while making B's and C's when just one more year of mental maturity would result in then being A students with a MUCH higher understanding of the material.

In the more traditional math sequence, basic statistics (mean, median, mode, stem and leaf plots...) are introduced in middle school... now days many students are SKIPPING a level or two of middle school math in the rush to get to Algebra and teachers are being forced to find a time/place to insert statistics.  I'm not a fan of integrated maths- at least the ones currently in use in the USA-- the majority of students really need topics like 'linear equations' covered more than once in high school in order master the material.

With the above being what it is-- I would supplement as time permits-- it does not take long for older (high school) students to pick up on the basics of statistics-- and since they are budding consumers they may actually find it fascinating how statistics can twist the way data is presented. 

My youngest dd is a Junior in PS (they use traditional texts).  I'm having her supplement with a few Khan Academy lessons-- 8th grade math for students NOT taking Algebra 1 that year contains quite a bit of work with statistics-- since she skipped that level and took Algebra 1 she did not get those topics (with the exception of one or two days in 7th grade).

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We signed up for a couple of months of ALEKS over the summer after geometry to clean up a few of those sorts of things. Dd worked in the geometry course, but really only did units like probability and statistics. ETA: I honestly don't recommend ALEKS, but it worked for that particular time and need.

Edited by MamaSprout
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