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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Nola Bridgens*

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

If you are curious as to how to make a frequency distribution table, this is the lesson for you. We will learn what a frequency distribution table can be used for and how to organize data to include in a frequency distribution table.

Let's say that you have six cats. Crazy, right? If you had that many cats, you'd probably like to keep track of how often each cat goes to his/her food bowl every day because you don't want any fat cats! What you'd probably want to do to accomplish this is to write down each of their names and make marks next to them each time they eat. At the end of the day, you'd have a lot of tally marks, but your information isn't that easy to understand. However, if you put your data into a frequency distribution table, all will become clear, and you'll be able to easily see if anyone needs to go on a diet. Let's find out how to do this.

A **frequency distribution table** is a chart that shows the frequency of a certain outcome occurring in a data sample. It's a great way to organize data to make it simple to read and understand. The Frequency Distribution Table image shows a couple different ways a frequency table can look. Some tables have three columns that show the possible outcomes, the tally marks for each outcome, and the number of each outcome, while some tables only have two columns and do not show the tally marks.

The first thing to do when making a frequency distribution table is to draw three columns on a piece of paper. Then, look through your data set and list all the possible outcomes in the data in the left column. Use the middle column to make tally marks for each time that particular outcome occurred in the data. When you've made a tally mark for each piece of data, count the tallies and write the corresponding numeral in the third column. Lastly, make sure to label each column. The first column will be labeled with a name that represents what kinds of outcomes the data represents. The second column will be labeled 'tally marks' and the third will be labeled 'frequency'.

Now you can try! All you have to do now is get out a piece of paper and a pencil and do this problem on your own before looking at the answer.

Using the following data set, make a frequency distribution table with tally marks.

Maria recorded the color of the Skittles she pulled out of the bag: purple, yellow, green, purple, red, green, yellow, orange, yellow, blue, blue, green, purple, green, yellow, red, red, purple, orange, orange, yellow, red, blue, red, blue, green, orange, yellow, blue, red, red, green, yellow.

Okay, now that you're done, let's see how to make a frequency distribution table with our Skittles.

First, we need to list all the possible outcomes. The colors she could have pulled out of the bag are purple, yellow, red, green, blue, and orange. We need to label the first column 'Color Choices' and list each color choice on a new row. Next, we need to label the middle column 'Tally Marks' and make tallies next to each color every time she pulls that color out of the bag. Lastly, we add up the tally marks next to each color and write the corresponding numeral in the third column labeled 'Frequency'. Now we can see very clearly the frequency of each color of Skittle in the bag. There were more yellows and reds than any other color and purple and orange were in the bag the least.

Let's take a couple of moments to recap what we've learned about frequency distribution tables and how to make them. A **frequency distribution table** is a chart that shows the frequency of a certain outcome occurring in a data sample. Making a frequency distribution table helps us organize data into an easy-to-read chart. It works best with data that describes how often various outcomes occur in a data set. Some charts may have a column for tally marks and some may not.

The steps to creating a frequency distribution table are simple. They include:

- Draw the three necessary columns.
- Look through your data set and list all the possible outcomes in the data in the left column.
- Use the middle column to make tally marks for each time that particular outcome occurred in the data.
- Count the tallies and write the corresponding numeral in the third column.
- Make sure to label each column.

Now you should be making frequency distribution tables on your own in no time!

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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