Stats with Cats (and other animals)!

I wrote a guest post earlier this week for Allan Rossman’s excellent blog Ask Good Questions. If you aren’t already subscribed to Allan’s blog you should be! He spent a year writing a new post every week, so there are so many very good advice and ideas for teaching statistics on his blog. Allan’s work […]

Age is just a number

Today I demonstrated some in-class interactive activities that I had developed for my super large intro statistics lectures at a teaching and learning symposium. I’ve shared a summary of the activities and the data below. Quick summary of the activity 1. Head to upload or take a photo of yourself and record the age […]

Game of data

This post is second in a series of posts where I’m going to share some strategies for getting real data to use for statistical investigations that require sample to population inference. As I write them, you will be able to find them all on this page. What’s your favourite board game? I read an article […]

Just Google it

Here’s a really quick idea for a matching activity, totally building off Pip Arnold’s excellent work on shape. At the bottom of this post are six “Popular times” graphs generated today by Google when searching for the following places of interest: Cafe Shopping mall Library Swimming pool Gym Supermarket Can you match which graphs go […]

It’s raining cats and dogs (hopefully)

In April 2017, I presented an ASA K-12 statistics education webinar: Statistical reasoning with data cards (webinar). Towards the end of the webinar, I encouraged teachers to get students to make their own data cards about their cats. A few days later, I then thought that this could be something to get NZ teachers and students involved […]

Using data challenges to encourage statistical thinking

This post provides the notes for a workshop I ran at the Christchurch Mathematical Association (CMA) and Auckland Mathematical Association (AMA) 2015 Statistics Days about using data challenges to encourage statistical thinking. What is a data challenge? These are just the words I am using to describe a competition that involves (big) data. Some good […]

Auckland Marathon 2015 runners (population data)

The data for each runner entered in the Auckland Marathon 2015 was obtained from This data is owned by the organisers of the Auckland Marathon and can not be used for commercial purposes unless by prior written permission from the organisers. For each runner, the following was recorded: bib number name time in hours (this is blank if […]

Rugby World Cup 2015 players (population data)

The data for each player in the Rugby World Cup 2015 was obtained from This data is owned by the Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWC) and can not be used for commercial purposes unless by prior written permission from the RWC. Thanks to @cushlat for the idea 🙂 For each player, the following was recorded: team played for […]

How long does it take a student to submit a swear word into a text analysis tool?

Update on the predictive text challenge I haven’t heard anything from anyone with any problems, and there seems to be a bit of traffic to the challenge page, so hopefully this is going well. I’ll allow checking of the first list of reserved words tomorrow. Students should put in what they predict the readability score […]

Exploring statistical measures by estimating the ages of famous people

This lesson focuses on developing student understanding of statistical measures. It is a re-working of a workshop I offered for the NZAMT 2009 conference. This lesson is awesome because students drive the development of a measure for determining the best “age estimator”. I was introduced to the activity when I was at teachers’ college, and […]