Getting sets of rich data makes math classes so much more dynamic. Even better when the students collect it themselves. It is so easy to do. Set up a simple activity, time it, record it, and then you can play with it in a number of ways. They are invested because the data represents them, they see themselves in it. Once you have this, and it doesn't take long to gather, you can manipulate it in so many ways, and record your strategies. Plus, it enforces the skill of gathering data, using tables, and how general organization will aid you down the line.
Simple Ideas to record your data:
- put 20 multi-link blocks on the table with a stopwatch and have them put them together in a straight line and record the results
- use a reflex tester online and record trails
- timing physical activities like jumping jacks, saying the alphabet, squats, running laps etc.
Simple Ideas to manipulate your data:
- make a graph
- pool them all together
- categorize the data by gender, age, hair color, country, etc
- add up the totals
- subtract the best from the worst
- find the average
- look for patterns