Data Analysis and Data Explorer

Course(s)/Subject(s): Middle School Mathematics

Grade Level(s): 7/8

Key Words: Mathematics, technology, boxplots

Developer(s) Name: Lynette Shields

School: Irving MS

Attached Files: Using Data Explorer (Software)
Approximate Time Frame: 1 - 50 min. class period

Materials/Equipment Needed: Computer Lab, one station per student
Data (test scores) from 3 classes
Data Explorer software

Description of Lesson (includes context): Test scores from a recent test have been compiled from 3 classes and the data is given to the students for their analysis. In the computer lab the students will use Data Explorer to input the data and display as 3 stacked boxplots. Students will analyze the data and write a paragraph of their analysis.


1. What is the objective of this lesson? The purpose of this lesson is to reinforce a recent lesson on boxplots. Data (recent test scores) from 3 MSM8 classes has been collected and distributed to the students. The students will use the Data Explorer software to organize and display the test scores for the classes in stacked box-and-whisker plots, then analyze the results in paragraph form.

VA FCPS POS Standards: Standard 3: Collect, organize, describe, and analyze data

VA FCPS POS Benchmarks:
Benchmark 3.2: Students gather, organize and describe data to investigate problems
Benchmark 3.3: Students make inferences and evaluate arguments based on data analysis

VA FCPS POS Indicators:
3.2.1: Students collect data
3.2.2: Students display data
3.3.1: Students analyze data and communicate results
3.3.2: Students interpret results

VA SOL(s) (including Computer/Technology): 7.20, 7.21, C/T 8.1, C/T 8.3



2. What will we examine as evidence of students’ knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): The students will print out their stacked boxplots and accompanying paragraphs.




3. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

Use the attached Using Data Explorer instructions and test score data compiled from three classes to input the data. Follow the directions to display the data using three stacked boxplots. After analyzing the data, write a paragraph about this analysis. The paragraph should include a description of the boxplots based on the boxplots displayed, a comparison of classes based on the boxplots, and conclusions that might be drawn from this comparison. You may want to include how you did on the test compared to your classmates.

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson:

Prerequisites for this computer lab lesson include knowledge of the accompanying vocabulary and construction of boxplots. It is also assumed that students have had prior experience analyzing data and writing paragraphs for other statistical graphs such as line plots and stem-and-leaf plots. The Data Explorer instructions are written for students who are using the software for the first time.


4. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?

Students who were absent for the prerequisite boxplot lesson or had trouble when manually constructing boxplots should be paired with a strong student who can help them in the computer lab.