Statistics Summer Institute Day 3 (The Loss of Freedom)

Day 3 of the statistics institute was my day. All day. Every Lesson. We explored every possible graphical representation to help describe a set of data that we could. What made day 3 special was the emphasis on quantitative data.

The first activity we spent a couple of hours on is similar to the second day of AP statistics. Typically, I start with a fun size package of M&Ms and ask the class how many M&Ms are in the package. Eventually they get to the fact that they have to open the package and count. Then, I pull out a second package and ask the same question. The pattern continues for a couple more packages until the class decides that there’s variability involved and they would feel more confident with a larger sample. We collect a large(r) sample and I have groups surmise ways to organize the data. Fun with dotplots! This lesson was similar; I was required to use raisins for this one though (ick).

The other lessons typically followed the same way: collect data and find a good way to organize the data. The vast majority of the conversation revolved around what types of graphs fit what types of data and how to convert from one to the next.

I got two things out of today:
1. Teaching for 7 hours without repeating material is exhausting.

2. The lack of freedom involved with a big professional development institutes really frustrates me. I’m not saying that the activities that I’m being asked to use are bad or that I’m not allowed to put my spin on them, but I feel constrained. I’m spoiled with the ability to create my own curriculum when I teach and I want to do the same here. And working with powerpoint here reminds me of how inflexible it is for a math teacher to use.

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2 thoughts on “Statistics Summer Institute Day 3 (The Loss of Freedom)

  1. “All hail SMART software!” I enjoyed your day. Thank you for involving your “students” in the discussion. It made for a much more stimulating day.

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