What’s Going On in This Graph? | April 17, 2019

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What’s Going On in This Graph? | April 17, 2019

Note: This is our final “What’s Going On in This Graph?” for the 2018-19 school year. To receive next year’s schedule, and learn about our first graph of the 2019-20 school year, be sure to sign up for our free newsletter.

1. This graph compares the relative value of highly-paid baseball players using salary and a player’s WAR, a baseball statistic that summarizes a player’s total contributions to their team.

WAR stands for “Wins Above Replacement.” The greater the WAR, the better the player.

The graph originally appeared elsewhere on NYTimes.com. By Friday morning, April 19, we will provide the “Reveal” — the graph’s free online link, additional background and questions, shout outs to student comments and headlines, and Stat Nuggets.

After looking closely at the graph above (or at this full-size image), think about these three questions:

What do you notice?
What do you wonder?
What are you curious about that comes from what you notice in the graph?
What might be going on in this graph?
Write a catchy headline that captures the graph’s main idea. If your headline makes a claim, tell us what you noticed that supports your claim.

The questions are intended to build on one another, so try to answer them in order. Start with “I notice,” then “I wonder,” and end with “The story this graph is telling is ….” and a catchy headline.

2. Next, join the conversation by clicking on the comment button and posting in the box that opens on the right. (Students 13 and older are invited to comment, although teachers of younger students are welcome to post what their students have to say or they can have their students use this same activity on Desmos.)

3. After you have posted, read what others have said, then respond to someone else by posting a comment. Use the “Reply” button or the @ symbol to address that student directly.

On Wednesday our collaborator, the American Statistical Association, will facilitate this discussion from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time to help students’ understanding go deeper. You might use their responses as models for your own.

4. On Thursday afternoon, we will reveal more information about the graph at the bottom of this post. Students, we encourage you to post an additional comment after reading the reveal. How does the original New York Times article and the moderators’ comments help you see the graph differently? Try to incorporate the statistical terms defined in the Stat Nuggets in your response.

_________

• Read our introductory post, which includes information about using the “Notice and Wonder” teaching strategy.
• Learn about how and why other teachers are using this feature, and use the 2018-19 “What’s Going On in This Graph?” calendar to plan ahead for the 25 Wednesday releases.
• Go to the A.S.A. K-12 website, which includes This is Statistics, resources, professional development, student competitions, curriculum, courses and careers.