This activity is scaffolded at each step so they can find the standard deviation of a data set independently. The fun part is that they collect their data by recording scores of an "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" quiz!
Here's how I did it:
1. As a warm-up, I gave the students about 4 minutes to silently answer all 20 questions on their own piece of paper.
2. I read the answers aloud and had them grade themselves (or trade and grade) and write their total score.
3. I used a random name generator on my computer to select ten students to share their scores with the class. This is the data set they were to use. This was also perfect because we had just got done discussing unbiased sampling methods.
4. The students independently followed directions to find: mean, median, deviations, squares, sum, dividing by (n-1), and taking the square root until they have the standard deviation.
5. After this, I had students do a couple practice problems finding standard deviations (NOT INCLUDED) and showed them how to use the TI-84 to analyze data sets (NOT INCLUDED)
I loved this activity because they were engaged in the activity and were very competitive about their "quiz" scores! They were also able to use their steps as an example to help them for future practice and homework.