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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.

In this lesson, we'll discover what a frequency distribution table is and describe its characteristics. We'll also identify some situations where it would be helpful.

Do you ever get tired of having the same thing for lunch? Have you ever wondered how many days in a month you eat a sandwich for lunch? A frequency distribution table can help you organize this data to find out.

A **frequency distribution table** is a chart that summarizes values and their frequency. It's a useful way to organize data if you have a list of numbers that represent the frequency of a certain outcome in a sample. A frequency distribution table has two columns. The **first column** lists all the various outcomes that occur in the data, and the **second column** lists the frequency of each outcome. Putting this kind of data into a table helps make it simpler to understand and analyze.

If a baseball team scored 0 runs in the 1st inning, 1 run in the 2nd inning, 3 runs in the 3rd inning, 0 runs in the 4th inning, 1 run in the 5th inning, 2 runs in the 6th inning, 0 runs in the 7th inning, 0 runs in the 8th inning, and 1 run in the 9th inning, we could create a frequency distribution table to help organize this data. Reading this kind of data in sentence format is very confusing and hard to use.

To create a frequency distribution table, we would first need to list all the outcomes in the data. In this example, the outcomes are 0 runs, 1 run, 2 runs, and 3 runs. We would list these numbers in numerical order in the first column. Next, we need to count how many times each outcome occurred. They scored 0 runs in the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 8th innings, 1 run in the 2nd, 5th, and 9th innings, 2 runs in the 6th inning, and 3 runs in the 3rd inning. We place the frequency of each outcome in the second column. You can see that the table is a much better way to display this information.

Let's use the example where we try to find out how many times sandwiches were eaten in a month for lunch. Look at the following calendar to see what you ate for lunch each day at school. It is not very easy to see how often you ate each type of meal for lunch in this format. If we make a frequency distribution table, it will be much easier to analyze the data.

First, let's find the options the student has for lunch: mac 'n cheese, sandwich, soup, hamburger, and chicken nuggets. These are listed in the first column of the frequency distribution table. Next, we count how many times the student ate each meal. They had mac 'n cheese 5 days, a sandwich 8 days, soup 6 days, a hamburger 2 days, and chicken nuggets 1 day. This information goes in the second column of the table. As you can see, when this data is in table format, it is much easier to understand and analyze. They ate sandwiches and soup the most and chicken nuggets the least.

We learned that a **frequency distribution table** is a two-column chart that can be very helpful in organizing data that consists of the number of occurrences of various outcomes. The table format makes the data much easier to use and understand.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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