Mini Feltron Folly

AS Use of Maths students do a unit on data analysis. A lot of it is ‘have some pseudo context data, work some stuff out and then talk about it formulaically’ Balls to that. Boooring.

Now I am not the biggest stats fan in the world, but at least make it a bit interesting? Which is why I love Dan Meyer’s mini Feltron idea. It gives students the opportunity to collect data that is relevant to them, analyse it a s they see fit, and extract mathematical ideas and meaning from what comes out.

I didn’t want it to be a massive project, just a boost into extracting meaning from data, and comparing and contrasting data sets. With this in mind, I set them fist the task of collecting information about how many text messages they sent over the course of a few days, and then jumped into the idea of recording more about yourself over the Christmas holidays. I got on board as well (That’s mine in the top right)


Over the next two or three lessons I had planned to get the class to make graphs of their choice, then find people with the same variables and compare.

I anticipated some students would not have collected the data (and was unfortunately not proven wrong) so they get use my super boring data. What I did not anticipate was this:


So now I have to come up with something for that student to do. AWESOME.

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5 Responses to Mini Feltron Folly

  1. Jim says:

    Please god tell me that ‘college’ in the UK means something other than post-secondary level. My eighth graders pump out better work than this on a weekly basis.

    • nik_d_maths says:

      Hi Jim, thanks for the comment. College over here is 16-19 for most students. I’d love to see some of your students work if you have somewhere you show it? I’d also be really interested to see/hear about some of the stats you do at 8th grade!


    • approxnormal says:

      Jim – I’m pretty sure that ‘college’, like many terms, is different in the UK than in the US. However, I’m intelligent enough to infer that knowledge without a request for explanation (or a crude comment) because of his other posts. Plus, I would never settle into attack mode on someone’s blog after reading one post. Regardless of what age or mathematical ability this guy teaches, he had a few students that took a simple assignment and ran with it in a way he didn’t expect. He appears proud of the work the students did and, without knowing any background on the students or their past efforts, who are we to judge if it’s “good” or “bad”? And the effort also appeared to spark some enthusiasm from him as well. Stats analysis isn’t everybody’s favorite area of mathematics (even HE admits that), so I can imagine his surprise when his students were creative in their data collection and creation of display. Since the assignment inspired the students AND the teacher, I think that’s a win for everybody and maybe you shouldn’t be so harsh with your judgment.

  2. Pingback: dy/dan » Blog Archive » Great Classroom Action

  3. Pingback: There’s questions here | Maths is Not a Spectator Sport

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