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Topic: first day surprises
Replies: 2   Last Post: Sep 5, 1996 8:06 PM

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Drube Gregg

Posts: 12
Registered: 12/6/04
first day surprises
Posted: Sep 4, 1996 4:45 PM
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As part of a first day activity, I gave a small survey to my 27 AP-Stat
students (year-long course). Since 14 classrooms in our junior high
building here in Pierre, SD were condemned the middle of this summer and
consequently, we had to move our 280 9th graders upto our already
rather crowded High School building, we have done some major rearranging
and construction part of which moved all the math department to the old
welding and small engine areas and our computer lab which I counted on
using at the beginning of school is not ready ... I apologize for the
whining and the terrible run on sentence. I originally planned on
collecting the data and use it to start learning some basic minitab
stuff.
Well, I just gathered the data sheets, and that evening put the data
into a spreadsheet on my own computer and printed it out. On the second
day of class, I gave a copy of the spreadsheet to my students. They
were SURPRISED at some of the answers that were recorded for some of the
questions--many missing, many with ridiculous answers from misread
questions, etc. This led to a nice discussion of problems encountered
when gathering survey data and what to do with these when making
different plots and such. I should have expected this to happen as
before I started teaching 5 years ago, I worked for 10 years in the Dept
of Preventive Med at the U of Iowa, doing all sorts of statistical
work-survey stuff, clinical trials, etc. We were able to clean up our
survey data because we were able to talk to everyone of our cases
individually and get them to answer the questions (after they read more
carefully the second time)-- this is not always possible in "real"
situations. I think they learned something about some of the dirty work
that is necessary before actually "analyzing" the data. I hope to have
our computer lab going in a few days. I enjoyed the MandM data. I had
done this in some of my other math classes a couple years ago. Then gave
a copy of an article I found in Harper's magazine (october 1988, pages
34-37) in which the author talks about his quest for info about M&M's
(he gives the Distributions for plain and peanut, which are now dated
because of BLUE!). Sorry for rambling on.

Gregg Drube
T.F. Riggs High School
Pierre SD 57501

Gregg Drube
drubeg@pierre.k12.sd.us





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