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Stem-and-Leaf Plots with Decimals

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  • 0:03 What Is a Stem-and-Leaf Plot?
  • 0:39 Title/Stem/Leaf/Key
  • 1:43 Putting Numbers in a…
  • 2:25 Examples of…
  • 3:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kelley Lipke

Kelley has been teaching middle school for six years and has a master's degree in educational administration.

In this lesson, you'll learn about the parts of a stem-and-leaf plot with decimals and how to use them. You will also have a chance to practice reading and analyzing a sample stem-and-leaf plot with decimals.

What is a Stem-and-Leaf Plot?

Corey is a runner on the school track team. At the end of each track competition, he is responsible for displaying each team member's running time in a stem-and-leaf plot.

A stem-and-leaf plot is a way to organize and display numerical data or numbers. A stem-and-leaf plot organizes numbers in order from least to greatest. These numbers are also broken up based on place value, the numerical value a digit has because of its position in a number. The four main parts of a stem-and-leaf plot are: a title, stem column, leaf column, and a key.

Diagram

Title:

The title tells you what the graph is about. In this example, the title is 'Race Running Times in Seconds.' What is this graph about? The title tells us that the graph shows the amount of time each student took to run the race, specifically in seconds.

Stem:

The stem of the graph represents the digits in front of the decimal point. This includes digits in the ones, tens, hundreds, or thousands place. These numbers go in order from least to greatest, going down the left column of the graph.

Leaf:

The leaf of the graph represents the digits behind the decimal point. This includes digits in the tenths, hundredths, or thousandths place. These also go in order from least to greatest but on the right side of the graph.

Key:

The key is an important part in understanding how to read a stem-and-leaf plot, especially one with decimals. As shown in the example, 14 | 2, we know that someone ran the race in 14.2 seconds. In this example, the decimal point is between the stem and the leaf.

Putting Numbers in a Stem-and-Leaf Plot

Let's say Corey needs to put the numbers 13.0, 13.2, and 13.5 into the stem-and-leaf plot. In this case, the whole number, or number in front of the decimal, 13, goes in the stem column. The digits behind the decimal point go in the leaf column, in increasing order. So, 13.0 is actually 13 | 0 and 13.2 is 13 | 2. Can you figure out what 13.5 looks like? 13.5 is 13 | 5.

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