Two Quickies From Today

Two quick hits from classes today:

In statistics, we have just ventured into inference and building confidence intervals. I wanted to give my students the opportunity to ground their understanding into something familiar. I did some quick research and found a poll that CNN conducted in 2012:
10.1 More on Confidence Intervals_1

A lot of students indicated that they’re familiar with this kind of polling and have seen a margin of error. Because this poll was used as a warm up (I asked them to decode what CNN had posted), the conversation in class went in the opposite order than usual. In the past, we would calculate the confidence interval and decipher what it meant. This year, my students took more ownership in the confidence interval. Questions like “Where did the margin of error come from?” and “How do we determine what z-score to use?” drove the conversation today.

In geometry, we began our study of vectors as an application of the trigonometry we studied. Most of my students have little or absolutely no experience with vectors. Step one was to define what a vector is and when they’re useful. I decided a Foxtrot comic was the way to go:

7.4 Vectors Part 1 Lesson_2

The class quickly decided that their way of approaching the problem wasn’t working. They decided to ask for a grid:

7.4 Vectors Part 1 Lesson_3

They decided that these arrows they were drawing had two parts: a direction and a length. Little did my students know, they just figured out a definition and a use for vectors.

Here’s the whole comic:

7.4 Vectors Part 1 Lesson_4
FOXTROT (c) Bill Amend. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL UCLICK. All rights reserved.

I did ask permission to use the comic and have been asked to add the line above.

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