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Topic: [ap-stat] first day activities
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 15, 2010 11:13 PM

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Nirode, Wayne

Posts: 50
Registered: 12/6/04
RE: [ap-stat] first day activities
Posted: Aug 15, 2010 11:13 PM
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Data collection takes about 30 minutes. I don't give any direction on how to collect the data - that is another interesting aspect of the activity. Some years, a few students take charge and delegate to speed up the process. You could speed it up by using Fathom Surveys or something similar, but I think the loss in students getting to meet each other is not worth the time savings. (Students have cited one of the best parts of AP Stats was they got to meet new people in the grade above or below them. It's one of about three advanced/honors classes at my school where both juniors and seniors can take it.)

Typically the whole activity can be completed in 70 minutes.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mr. Gilbert []
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2010 8:19 PM
To: Nirode, Wayne;
Subject: RE: [ap-stat] first day activities

Wayne - you have an intersting activity here. How much time is given for data collection?

I've done something else that has proven to be a lot of fun. We usually have a half-days schedule for grades 10 - 12 on the first student day. We then bring in the 9th grade for an afternoon BBQ and orientation to find their rooms, try their locker combinations, etc. I don't have a lot of time after giving an outline of expections. I give ALL my classes a post-it note and ask them to write down my age. I then create a dot-plot with the post-its that we use as a first graph discussion. This year my AP Stat class is my last class of the day, so I'll have a nice graph created. It's fun seeing the range of guesses. I ask my colleagues, especially my math colleagues, not to tell my age. Let's just say that I could have had a student deferment from the Union army, if I wanted it.

Have a great year to all my AP Stat friends. For the first timers, welcome. Use this list serve - it's a great resource. And have fun!

Les Gilbert
Long Beach HS
Lido Beach, NY


Subject: RE: [ap-stat] first day activities
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 23:38:48 -0400
From: Nirode-W@TROY.K12.OH.US

I tell students that I want to create a class profile for AP Statistics much like many colleges do for their incoming freshmen class.

1. As a class, students call out a variable/attribute (gender, gpa, involved in school sports, favorite color, etc) and I write it on the board.
2. After all the variables have been announced, I ask students how they would measure each one. This gets into a discussion of qualitative and quantitative variables.
3. Next, we discuss how many variables should we have to make the data collection reasonable. We then discuss eliminating variables for various reasons including any that might contain sensitive information that students do want to reveal (or that I do not want them to reveal).
4. Students then collect the data by hand. This forces them to talk to everyone including those that they do not know.
5. Individually or in groups, students create the profile.
6. Once we are back as a class, each individual/group reads their profile. This gets into a discussion about how to summarize data.
7. Next, I ask them to go back individually or in groups and identify one person in the class that is most aligned with their profile.

Over the 6 years that I've been teaching AP Stats, I've tried various activities including some that introduce confidence intervals or significance tests, but the one described above is the one I like the best for several reasons.

It is almost entirely student driven besides my proposal at the beginning.
It helps me to assess prior knowledge of students.
It makes students think about condensing and summarizing data.
It doesn't scare any of my students. Some of the other opening day activities I used in the past, I just confused and frustrated my students. That's definitely something I try to avoid on the first day!

Lastly, Josh, welcome to AP Stats! It's a wonderful and rewarding class to teach!


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