Ma4 Handling data

This is a collection of work. Click through the chapters to see the full collection or download the attached standards file.

Newspaper investigation

Illustration of a bar graph and a table comparing length of words in two newspapers

Teacher's notes

  • In discussion decides on criteria for making a fair comparison: for example, compares like articles, news with news, sport with sport.
  • Makes predictions about why a particular newspaper has more words or longer words.
  • Uses ICT to create an appropriate bar chart.

Next steps

  • Consider other ways to compare the data, for example what fraction of the words counted in each paper have six or more letters.
  • Draw conclusions from the data, using more precise vocabulary.
  • Construct own graphs and charts to present information.

Horse racing probability exercise

Illustration of a problem related to horse racing probability

Teacher's notes

  • Collects discrete data using a tally chart.
  • Keeps a record of the number of times the dice have been rolled so she doesn't lose count.
  • Realises that when using two dice, certain numbers are unobtainable, such as 1 and 13.
  • Explains why scores 6, 7 and 8 occur more frequently with the roll of two dice by calculating the different possible outcomes.

Next steps

  • Compare the results of two groups to show that repeating the exercise may give different results
  • Combine data across groups to have a larger data set
  • Discuss how the data helps with estimating the probability of a particular horse winning.

What the teacher knows about Polly's attainment in Ma4

Polly collects and displays discrete data using tally charts and frequency tables. She understands that for grouped data she must give appropriate and equal intervals. She makes predictions before collecting data and draws conclusions as to why certain events happen more frequently. In her investigations Polly works methodically, collecting appropriate data to analyse.

Polly constructs bar and line graphs to present numerical data. She chooses appropriate increments for the scales, labels her axes and gives her graphs titles according to the task set. She understands and constructs Venn and Carroll diagrams and uses them to sort and represent data based on the properties of numbers and shapes. She interprets each region of the diagram (including the area outside the circles in a Venn diagram) and understands that some regions may be empty.

Polly calculates the range and mode of a set of data. She interprets frequency diagrams and simple line graphs, estimating and reading between labelled divisions. She reads pie charts but finds it difficult to compare pie charts when they represent different sample sizes. She identifies obvious differences but needs the support of probing questions to guide her thinking.

Summarising Polly's attainment in Ma4

In Ma4 Polly is best described as working at the top of level 4. She collects and represents discrete data using a frequency table. She understands and uses mode and range to describe a set of data. She constructs bar charts and line graphs to represent data. She shows a good understanding of appropriate scales for the data collected. To progress into level 5, Polly needs to use the mean of discrete data and begin to compare two data sets using the range and mode. She needs to interpret and compare pie charts based on different sample sizes and draw conclusions. In probability she needs to begin to quantify probabilities and to use the probability scale from 0 to 1.