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Numerical Literacy


 While the Internet provides huge databases which could fill spreadsheets as large as a football field, it does little good to visit such sites unless they know how to "crunch" the numbers, interpreting the huge databases with mathematical tools and reasoning. We must teach them to recognize the questions which reside within such data collections along with the skills to pose and explore such questions.

1. Go with your partner to the New Haven County and then open a second window in Netscape (from FILE menu) and go to Fairfield County - Connecticut County Data available from the US Census. Adjust the two windows so the numbers line up side by side for comparison purposes.

2) Use the information about these two counties in Connecticut to decide which one you might prefer as a place to live: Fairfield County or New Haven County? Write your choice and your reasons in your learning log.

3) Which are the most important numbers? Why? Could you chart them? How would a chart help to crunch the numbers? Which numbers are missing here that would have helped you make a choice?

4) In your learning log, write your thoughts about the following: What does it mean to "read" numbers? How does a spreadsheet help us to read them?


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