In which I’ll get right on that

Here’s the math standard (singular, supposedly) my eighth graders are covering during the middle third of next quarter. Challenge: make this sound more obscure than it does:

CC.8.SP.1-4 Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe patterns such as clustering, outliers, positive or negative association, linear association, and nonlinear association. Know that straight lines are widely used to model relationships between two quantitative variables. For scatter plots that suggest a linear association, informally fit a straight line, and informally assess the model fit by judging the closeness of the data points to the line. Use the equation of a linear model to solve problems in the context of bivariate measurement data, interpreting the slope and intercept. Understand that patterns of association can also be seen in bivariate categorical data by displaying frequencies and relative frequencies in a two-way table. Construct and interpret a two-way table summarizing data on two categorical variables collected from the same subjects. Use relative frequencies calculated for rows or columns to describe possible association between the two variables.


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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

6 thoughts on “In which I’ll get right on that

  1. It is so ridiculous. On top of it in NJ we are required to write the standard, the essential question, the objective and the SLO all on the board for the students. Yeah, like they are getting anything from that.

    I teach 8th grade math in an inner city priority school and most of my students can’t even half the words in these standards.


    1. I have never understood why anyone thinks that shit is a good idea. The Common Core language is obscure and convoluted enough and I understand the math. The idea that the kids are supposed to get something out of the standard is flatly ludicrous.


  2. I am glad I teach 4th grade! No really…..Hey, let’s stage a teacher uprising, Infinitefreetime! Let’s just get everyone together, okay? Teacher Union or No Teacher Union, there is the power in, and of, and by the people! We need a Percy Jackson!


  3. On first sight this is like walking into a room raided by toddlers. A second reading allows one to translate the terms and a third enables you to see that they are talking about some simple statistics. It would be great if the guys who put these programmes together could start with step three. You could teach the kids to throw the jargon around at a later stage when they have mastered the stats.


    1. And in a nutshell that’s my problem– while I understand and appreciate the need for precision, and generally am not a “NO LONG WORDS!” type of person, these are supposed to be educational standards for eighth graders and should be comprehensible to students and parents. I’m educated to hell and back and, like you, it took a couple of readthroughs to figure out exactly what they meant– and I can nutshell this standard in a couple of simple sentences for my kids. I feel like the standard itself ought to be the nutshell, especially if I’m expected to prominently display these in my classroom (as I am) and for the kids to be able to discuss them (which they can’t, and won’t, and I won’t actually invest any effort in whether they want me to or not.)


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