As Saturday approaches talk increases about the possibility of a major snow event here in Ohio. I say a teachable moment approaches! Local weather forecasters on all 3 major networks in Cleveland (and maybe your location also) stress to treat the hype with caution citing there are too many variables that can change with Saturday still so far off. Scott Sabol provided historical data for snowfall totals for both Cleveland and the Akron/Canton area for 2 day snow event totals.
This is an incredible opportunity served on a silver platter to involve your students with data, algorithms, patterns, analysis, prediction, and conclusions and more. I have included Scotts data below. Here are some ideas of how you can incorporate the possibility of a weather event this weekend into your curriculum.
* I encourage using this as a teachable moment to introduce spreadsheets. Spreadsheets not only organize data, they can be used to create graphs and run computations including averages.
-Create a graph as a class.
-Create a graph using a spreadsheet. (This is a great way to introduce spreadsheets, the most powerful tool we forget to use in the classroom)
-Have students meet in teams or pairs and based on data analysis create a weather prediction.
-Have students create a weather forecast, using data and research for their script.
-Write or tweet to a local weather forecaster with questions that can help inform their decisions.
-Create a list of predictions, by classes or groups and compare the predictions to what actually happened.
Examples of questions…
-What patterns do you see if any?
-Based on any observed patterns what prediction can you make?
-What variables might go into the weather prediction?
-What was the highest amount of snowfall for a 2 day event?
-What was the lowest amount of snowfall for a 2 day event?
-Do certain months have higher snowfalls than others?
-Determine Mean, Median, and Mode of the snowfall data.
-What is Lake Effect snow? (for those of us lucky enough to live in areas where this is part of our vocabulary) an extension from this. What are the 5 Great Lakes, and what states are most directly affected by them in terms of Lake Effect snow.
-Where is the snowfall amount officially measured in your community?
Do you have other resources or ideas that can go with this teachable moment? Submit those at this email and if your contribution is selected you will receive a Mrs. Geeky chic to be geek Mug and T-shirt. (along with credit credit for the resource or idea).