Goals for the lesson:
- Be able to define what a scatter plot is
- Be able to find a line of best fit
- Be able to recognize positive correlation, negative correlation, and no correlation
- Review positive and negative slope
Using the Creative Pen on the Smart Board (set on smiley faces--it was the closest thing I could find to M&M's), I created a sample scatter plot. Several students took turns coming up to the Smart Board and drawing a line of best fit. Building upon the students' discussion about how we could draw lines going all different ways, I introduced the idea of no correlation.
Then, I modeled positive correlation on the Smart Board using the Creative Pen again. After a student came up and drew a line of best fit, we discussed that the line of best fit would have a positive slope. (Slope is one of the most-tested topics on the state testing in April. Thus, we are taking any and every opportunity to review slope!)
Students then worked with their M&M's to construct scatter plots with positive and negative correlations. To check their understanding at the end of the lesson, each student chose one of the three possible types of correlation and rearranged their M&M's to reflect that correlation. Then, as a class, we looked at the scatter plots of several students to see if we could figure out what correlation they had created.