In particular ask them to focus on critical analysis

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In particular, ask them to focus on critical analysis of the information presented. Explain why you agree or disagree with the arguments people made, using math. The important thing is to look critically at all of the information. Do not just accept what people say as fact. At the end of the lesson, you will use your work to decide together whether the factory owner is guilty, or not guilty, of polluting the river. These instructions are reproduced on Slide P-9, Judge’s Instructions . During small-group work you have two tasks: to notice strengths and weaknesses you see in students’ work and to support their thinking. Notice strengths and weaknesses in students’ work Find out about students’ current levels of understanding and the difficulties they encounter in the task. Students may be used to interpreting statistical diagrams, but may find it more difficult to critique someone else’s biased reading of information. Students may fail to notice a bias in a question, or may struggle to understand the issue of small sample size. You can use the information about common difficulties to focus the whole-class discussion towards the end of the lesson. Support student thinking Try not to solve students’ difficulties for them. Instead, ask them questions to help them move their thinking on. You could strengthen your argument if you did some math on the data you’ve been given. Is there another way to present this data? Could you redraw that chart so it displays the important features of the data better? Questions similar to those in the Common issues table on page T-4 were found to be useful in lesson trials. For students who are struggling, it may help to ask some specific questions about aspects of the mathematics: Describe this chart. Is there another way to present this data? The Environmental Officer/Factory Owner drew this conclusion. Can you draw any different conclusions from this evidence? Encourage students to explain their reasoning to others in the group before writing it down. Other group members may question and refine the explanations. Whole-class discussion: reaching a judgment (10 minutes) Organize a whole-class discussion, focusing on the mathematical practice of critiquing the reasoning of others. Choose a group to present their argument about one piece of evidence. Instruct the other groups to listen and write down questions about the group’s argument. Hani, does this evidence help the factory owner show he is not guilty? Tell us why you think that. If you disagree with the group’s interpretation of the evidence, write why and challenge them at the end of their presentation.
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Teacher guide Interpreting Data: Muddying the Waters T-7 Once the group has presented their case, other groups get a chance to challenge the details of their argument. If the challenge is not based on mathematics, you can rule it out of court.
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