Math = Love: Categorical and Quantitative Variables Card Sort

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Categorical and Quantitative Variables Card Sort

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

This is a non-AP class, so we're moving at a pretty slow pace.  And, I'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 and 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 shouldn'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 and glued them in.  

Then, they sorted the cards into 2 piles.  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.

Download the file here!


  1. 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.) :) PS- I love your blog!

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

  3. Great activity... my kids loved it!!!