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ERIC Number: EJ848311
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1069-1898
There Once Was a 9-Block ...--A Middle-School Design for Probability and Statistics
Abrahamson, Dor; Janusz, Ruth M.; Wilensky, Uri
Journal of Statistics Education, v14 n1 Mar 2006
ProbLab is a probability-and-statistics unit developed at the Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University. Students analyze the combinatorial space of the 9-block, a 3-by-3 grid of squares, in which each square can be either green or blue. All 512 possible 9-blocks are constructed and assembled in a "bar chart" poster according to the number of green squares in each, resulting in a narrow and very tall display. This combinations tower is the same shape as the normal distribution received when 9-blocks are generated randomly in computer-based simulated probability experiments. The resemblance between the display and the distribution is key to student insight into relations between theoretical and empirical probability and between determinism and randomness. The 9-block also functions as a sampling format in a computer-based statistics activity, where students sample from a "population" of squares and then input and pool their guesses as to the greenness of the population. We report on an implementation of the design in two Grade 6 classrooms, focusing on student inventions and learning as well as emergent classroom socio-mathematical behaviors in the combinations-tower activity. We propose an application of the 9-block framework that affords insight into the Central Limit Theorem in science. (Contains 14 figures.)
American Statistical Association. 732 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-684-1221; Tel: 888-231-3473; Fax: 703-684-2037; e-mail: asainfo@amstat.org; Web site: http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois