Elementary Quantitative Literacy: Activity-based data analysis

Faculty at the University of Washington coordinate continuing education workshops on the topic of statistics and probability for grade K-5 teachers. The workshops are based on a program funded by the National Science Foundation, which involved collaboration between statisticians (the American Statistical Society) and teachers (the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics). The goal of the workshop is to provide teachers with understanding, tools, and activities they can use to effectively teach concepts from the statistics and probability strand of the mathematics curriculum. The first of such workshops in the state of Washington was held in 1994, and was also one of the first such workshops for elementary school teachers nationwide. Since 1998, 1-2 of these workshops have been given annually as a content-based extension to a NSF-funded professional-development science program in the Seattle Public School district. In this context, some of the example data analysis activities are taken from the science kits adopted by the Seattle school district. The workshops offered through the University of Washington have evolved somewhat from the original format, largely to respond to specific logistical needs of the teachers attending the workshops, and can be adapted as needed to respond to such needs.

Faculty who remain closely involved in this project are: Ellen M. Wijsman (Biostatistics/Medical Genetics/Genome Sciences), Jaqueline Benedetti (Biostatistics/Medicine), and Nancy Temkin (Biostatistics/Neurological Surgery). In addition, June Morita (Statistics/Management Sciences) was involved in the early workshops, and now works with a related community of math learners program.

Schools or school districts in the Pacific Northwest who are interested in elementary school workshops should contact one of the participating University of Washington faculty. Workshops are typically most successful if attended by at least 20 and not more than 45 teachers, and can be configured to provide between 24 and 30 hours of training for a full workshop module. Depending on the location, the workshop can be organized as a series of contiguous days, generally during the summer, or as a series of single part- or full-day workshops during the school year. Workshops are taught by a combination of UW faculty and elementary school teachers.

A link to a document on graphing styles is here.