Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Typical Student in Year 2

We are currently inquiring into "Who We Are". It is a opportunity to learn a little bit more about life and our central idea is:

Birth, growth and death are part of 
the natural cycle of living things.

To find out about ourselves, we decided to collect some data. We wanted to know what things we had in common and what our differences were. Some of our questions were about physical features, some about our personal preferences.

Here are our 5 questions:

1. Are you a boy or a girl?
2. How old are you?
3. What sport House are you in?
4. What is your favourite colour?
5. What is your favourite school subject?

All students in Year 2 were surveyed. Here are our results:

Now that we had some data, it was time to start playing with it. 

Our "Typical" Year 2 Student

We found that we had one student who was in the highest scoring category for each question.

She was a girl, currently aged 7, in Acacia, liked blue and her favourite subject was PE!

We had found a typical student - she was very excited!

Our "Atypical" Student

We also found we had a student who was in none of the highest scoring categories.

He was a boy, aged 8, in Kurrajong, liked red and loved doing maths!

An atypical student - he was equally excited.

We showed our data about ourselves…

…compared to the typical student…

…and then recorded this in a table and made a statement based on our data.


Much discussion followed once we started playing with the data. Lots of questions started to come from the kids.

Boys could never be the "typical" student in our data set because they were eliminated by the first question. Similarly, girls could never be the "atypical" student, since they would always have their sex in common with our typical student even if they disagreed on everything else.

Interestingly, our "atypical" student has a twin brother but they could be differentiated by their favourite colour - the other twin liked the colour blue - but all their other answers were the same.

We ended up producing a large graph showing how many of the responses each student had in common with our "typical" student.

An interesting distribution and one that brought on more questions. Prior to representing the data in this way, we asked the students to predict which group they thought would be the largest. Most opted for 2 or 3 things in common, agreeing that it might be expected for people have a few things similar but that there was plenty of option for differences.

The kids were engaged, focused and ready to take it further.

I wonder what they will come back with tomorrow once they go home and reflect on what they have done?

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