Education Technology

SD: How Far is Typical?

Published on 04/05/2011

Activity Overview

This lesson involves gaining a basic understanding of what standard deviation is measuring by examining the location of data around the mean.

Objectives

  • Students will identify the standard deviation as a measure of spread about the mean of a distribution and loosely interpret it as an "average" or typical distance from the mean.

Vocabulary

  • deviation
  • dotplot
  • mean
  • range
  • residual
  • standard deviation

About the Lesson

This lesson involves gaining a basic understanding of what standard deviation is measuring by examining the location of data around the mean.

As a result, students will:

  • Find the sum of the residuals to be 0 and consider both squaring and absolute value to eliminate the negative values.
  • Compare the standard deviation to the mean of the absolute values of the residuals as the data changes.
  • Change the amount of snowfall by moving data points and comparing the squared standard deviation and the mean of the squared residuals in the plots.