# Categorical vs Quantitative Variables Card Sort Activity

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I created a categorical vs quantitative variables card sort that I would like to share with you.

This year, Iâ€™m teaching statistics for the second time. Â The last time I taught it, I had a class set of textbooks that were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over my studentsâ€™ heads. Â I even struggled with understanding how they presented some of the concepts. Â This year, Iâ€™m doing interactive notebooks with my students and just referencing a textbook myself. Â Iâ€™m following the order of Stats: Modeling the World. Â Things are going much better! Â

This is a non-AP statistics class, so weâ€™re moving at a pretty slow pace.  And, Iâ€™m totally okay with that.  A portion of my class is only present 3 days a week due to a college class they are taking on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Getting them caught up has probably slowed down the pace of the class, but nobody has complained. My favorite thing about this class is that there is no end-of-instruction exam. We can explore tangents that come up in class. We can do as many hands-on projects as I want to because there is no test looming in front of us.

For quantitative vs categorical variables, I made a card sort for students to complete in their notebooks.  It took quite a bit longer for my students to complete than I anticipated.  My students really struggled with the airplane related questions because the majority of them have never flown.  I guess I shouldnâ€™t be surprised.  I got on a plane for the first time in March to speak at SXSWedu.  Then, I took the longest commercial flight in the world this summer to go from Dallas to Sydney.  Airports and I are becoming fast friends.

Students first cut out the definitions of quantitative and categorical variables and glued them in their interactive notebooks.

Then, they sorted the cards into separate piles for quantitative vs categorical variables.  Next time I teach this, I need to do a better job of explaining that quantitative variables always represent something you can measure.  I think this would have cleared up a ton of confusion.

We discussed the correct sorting as a class before students glued the cards in their statistics interactive notebooks.

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1. Anonymous says:

Hey! Every year when I teach AP Stats, I always tell my students to think about whether it would make sense for a variable to be "averaged". If not, then it's probably NOT quantitative. (Example… zip codes. It's a numerical variable, but does it make sense to find an "average zip code"? Not really! So it's not a quantitative variable.) ðŸ™‚ PS- I love your blog!

1. Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) says:

Thanks!

2. Unknown says:

This is my first year teaching AP Stats, thanks for sharing!

1. Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) says:

You're welcome!

3. Unknown says:

Great activity… my kids loved it!!!