Reasoning from Data and Chance Summary

Monday - Friday, July 18 - 22, 2011

Hello again to all PCMI participants! The Data and Working group concluded our meetings in the third week by drilling down from big ideas to specific plans for implementing lessons and curriculum in the coming year.

Sandy, Arden, Jessica, and Jemal continued their work on unpacking the Common Core Standards for middle school Statistics and Probability. Sandy's focus is on the 8th grade standards, while Arden, Jessica and Jemal are working with the 7th grade standards. All are using their expertise as teachers and their newly-enriched knowledge of statistics to provide examples, probing questions, technology applications, and vocabulary outlines that help teachers navigate the new standards. The work of all four teachers demonstrates an effective team-based approach that would benefit many teachers who need to get up to speed on the CCS, and all agreed that it was valuable to dedicate conversations to what the standards mean in collaboration with other middle school teachers.

Debbie and James decided to start at the beginning of what an integrated Stats and Algebra 2 curriculum might look like, by drafting a dual-purposed lesson for kicking off the year. They drafted a lesson where students will review and extend their knowledge of single-variable statistical measures by keeping track of their success playing Mastermind, with the ideal outcome that students will see in the data evidence of the productive effects of perseverance in problem solving. There are several possible outcomes the results of this mini-investigation may take, and Debbie and James are excited to see what happens in September when they use this activity with their students.

Jason and Sam finished their draft of a project connected Bernoulli Trials to the idea of upsets in sports. They experimented with rolled dice, shuffled playing cards, and flipped coins as they determined how to best simulate what one might expect from the outcome of a sporting match. They also worked on developing resources for Fathom and the TI-nspire, both of which support and illuminate the use of sampling to predict expected outcomes. In order to build some drama and spirited conversation in their classrooms, Jason and Sam will play a (spoiler alert!) heartbreaking clip from an NCAA Basketball game in which a player misses two of three free-throws to lose a game with no time on the clock. They screened the clip on Friday during group presentations to the entire SSTP, and if teacher reactions were any indicator, it should be fun to see how students react to the clip!

It was difficult for everyone involved to see our working group come to an end. All of us are full of ideas - about stats, teaching, technology, and connections - and these projects only begin to indicate what each has taken away. We look forward to continue being in touch as we continue to develop our ideas.

Best wishes to all for the rest of the summer and coming school year!

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DMS-0940733 and DMS-1441467. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.