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# Math or doing statistics?

After reading chapter 5 from Kiss My Math (McKellar, 2009) and Elementary and Chapter 21
in Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally (Van de Walle et al., 2013) discuss the
� Which of the following questions is doing statistics? Which is doing mathematics? How do you
know? Support your statements with evidence from the required studies and your research.
(Questions taken from Van de Walle et al., 2013)

1. The average weight of 50 prize-winning tomatoes is 2.36 pounds. What is the combined weight, in
pounds, of these 50 tomatoes?
a. 0.0472 d. 59
b. 11.8 e. 118
c. 52.36
2. Joe had three test scores of 78, 76, and 74. Mary had scores of 72, 82, and 74. How did Joe�s
average (mean) compare to Mary�s average (mean) score?
a. Joe�s was one point higher.
b. Joe�s was one point lower.
c. Both averages were the same.
d. Joe�s was two points higher.
e. Joe�s was two points lower.
3. The table (I have attached the table for you) gives the times each girl has recorded for seven
runnings of the 100-meter dash this year. Only one girl may compete in the upcoming tournament.
Which girl would you select for the tournament and why?

DOING MATH OR STATISTICS 2

1. Finally, create your own question that requires students to do statistics. As you are designing the
question, keep in mind the requirements for what it means to do statistics. Explain how your question
requires students to do statistics.

Doing math or doing statistics?

After reading chapter 5 from Kiss My Math (McKellar, 2009) and Elementary and Chapter 21
in Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally (Van de Walle et al., 2013) discuss the
� Which of the following questions is doing statistics? Which is doing mathematics? How do you
know? Support your statements with evidence from the required studies and your research.
(Questions taken from Van de Walle et al., 2013)

1. The average weight of 50 prize-winning tomatoes is 2.36 pounds. What is the combined weight, in
pounds, of these 50 tomatoes?
a. 0.0472 d. 59
b. 11.8 e. 118
c. 52.36

DOING MATH OR STATISTICS 3

1. Joe had three test scores of 78, 76, and 74. Mary had scores of 72, 82, and 74. How did Joe�s
average (mean) compare to Mary�s average (mean) score?
a. Joe�s was one point higher.
b. Joe�s was one point lower.
c. Both averages were the same.
d. Joe�s was two points higher.
e. Joe�s was two points lower.
2. The table (I have attached the table for you) gives the times each girl has recorded for seven
runnings of the 100-meter dash this year. Only one girl may compete in the upcoming tournament.
Which girl would you select for the tournament and why?
3. Finally, create your own question that requires students to do statistics. As you are designing the
question, keep in mind the requirements for what it means to do statistics. Explain how your question
requires students to do statistics.

Question 1 and two are doing mathematics. The reasons for stating this that Question
1 and two does focus on life experiences that people engage in on a daily basis. To find the
solutions counting, multiplication, addition, and division have to be applied to determine the
mean, median, or mode. The three provide a quantitative pattern that is common in

DOING MATH OR STATISTICS 4
mathematics questions. In question two the establishment of mean does involve the addition
of all the values and then divide them by the number of values (McKellar, 2009).
Question 3 is doing statistics. In the question, the data are represented systematically
and follows the 4 step process. The process involves the formulation of the question, data
collection, and tabulation. When solving the question, the mathematics concepts have to be
applied. The data collected in the table does represent only a sample of the population of the
girls who are running and provides an opportunity for inferences to be made on the data. In
ensuring comprehension of the data, graphical representation can be applied to the data
presented in the table (Van de Walle et al., 2013).
In the following table are recorded data showing the test scores made by sales
representative on an intelligence test and their weekly sales.
Sales
representativ
e

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Test Score 40 70 50 60 80 50 90 40 60 60
Sales (‘000
sh.)

2.5 6.0 4.0 5.0 4.0 2.5 5.5 3.0 4.5 3.0

The question requires the students to apply inferential statistics concepts of regression
to be able to calculate the probable weekly sales that the volume sales representative makes
in a score of 100. The solution can be presented in a scatter graph to enable easy
comprehension of the solution.
In conclusion, statistics and mathematics are related as the mathematical concepts are
applied in statistics. The distinction arises from the fact that mathematics does focus on the

DOING MATH OR STATISTICS 5
numbers, structures, and the relationship while statistics do focus on the representation of the
data in a systematic way to ease its analysis.

References

McKellar. D. (2009). Kiss my math: showing pre-algebra who’s boss. Penguin.

DOING MATH OR STATISTICS 6
Van de Walle, J. A., Karp, K.S., & Bay-Williams, J. M. (2013). Elementary and Middle
School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally (8th.ed). Boston, MA: Pearson Education
Inc.