I’ve been developing a plan to incorporate more data analysis with my Pre-Algebra students. They’re in grades 6 and 7. As you know, when something’s on your mind, you start noticing it all around you. Which might explain how I came across two fun graphs in my RSS reader today.
First up is from Indexed by Jessica Hagy
Next up is from the xkcd webcomic:
I’ve noticed a shift recently. More people are using graphs to show ‘data’. (Imagine I said the previous sentence and used air quotes at the end.) Why?
- The data are entirely subjective but represented in a graph form. Indexed does a fun job with subjective graphs. Graphs like this help visual thinkers understand a statement. “As this variable increases, this other one decreases” isn’t as powerful as a curvy line on a x-y plot.
- The data are objective but quirky. Want to know what color book is most popular on Amazon on Tuesdays? I wouldn’t be surprised to find a graph…Data warehouses and fast computers mean we can slice and dice our data to find interesting patterns.
My Pre-Algebra students will start this week by analyzing graphs I give them. We’ll first look at pie and stacked bar charts. The goal is to develop an ability to infer from what they see in these charts.