During one of my relief teaching gigs, I was lucky enough to be using investigation teaching strategies with a group of 11 and 12 year old students for a couple of hours per day over a couple of weeks. I had been tasked with extending their learning. The ultimate goal was to improving their performance on NAPLAN tests.
Theshowed that their interpretation of data was a weakness.
There are few teachers who would hold NAPLAN in high regard - but it is a necessary systemic imperative.
This is athat I used as a teaching tool.
It is designed from year 5 and 7 test items so it is applicable to upper primary classes.
The cause, I suspect is that they don't fully understand the how data is collected, interpreted and interrogated.
The best way to do that, I feel, is to use teaching strategies that challenge their higher order thinking with an investigation.
I revitalized my Table Tennis Drop investigation and incorporate the use of a spreadsheet (in this case MS Excel) to collate and interpret data.
In the activity, I use teaching strategies to investigate the relationship between drop height and bounce height.
STEP 1 - is to collect the data.
In this investigation we used teaching strategies to explore the relationship between the drop height and the bounce height of a table tennis ball.
So for 30 - 45 minutes the teaching strategies used had kids bouncing tennis balls, measuring bounce heights and recording data in their books (like above)
Learning is much more powerful when teaching strategies are used that give kids the chance to talk about it.
Even the kids who might play up in a passive learning situation, seldom do when learning is more active.
Sure, there is noise as kids work together.
It takes experience to differentiate between productive and unproductive noise.
STEP 2 - Once the data is collected, students must look at the data. Discuss the formula Drop Height = Bounce Height x ? By what number ca we multiply bounce height to find the drop height?