Math Background

Working With Data: When Students Ask

  • Why should I learn this?
    Explain to students that companies use surveys to learn about what consumers want to buy. Analyzing survey data helps companies decide how to design and market their products. Even the size of a soup can has been researched with the same methods they have learned about. The Nielsen ratings for television use similar strategies to find the most popular (mode) television shows. Lead students to understand that companies frequently use statistical research methods to help ensure that their products will become successful.
  • How can I find the mode from a graph or line plot?
    Help students understand that the heights of the bars in a bar graph or the heights of the marks in a line plot correspond to the number of items in that category. The mode can be found by looking for the bar or mark with the greatest height. It represents the most frequently occurring choice.
  • How do I make a bar graph from a tally chart?
    Draw a tally chart and a grid for a bar graph on the board. For each tally, mark one box on the bar graph. Explain that the number of tallies corresponds to the number of boxes filled in on the bar graph. Then have students suggest a title and labels for the graph. Have volunteers explain their methods for creating bar graphs.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3