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Count the Objects Task for Data Collection

When I ran across this count the objects task last fall, I thought it would make a great classroom activity for anyone needing to collect one variable data to analyze.

The task is from Stephen Barr’s Mathematical Brain Benders: 2nd Miscellany of Puzzles.

I see so much potential for using this activity in a statistics class. You could split students into two groups. One group is allowed to move their hands. The other group isn’t. How does this affect their accuracy?

count the objects task for data collection
Source: Mathematical Brain Benders by Stephen Barr

Or what if you differed the amount of time that students are given? How would that affect the data?

If I was teaching Algebra 1 again, I would probably use this data collection activity as a way to practice making box-and-whisker plots.