Thoughts on Teaching Statistics

There was a tweet in my feed this morning that simply said: "Now that's how you present statistics http://pop.is/24bos".  I'm glad that I took this tweet seriously, because the next 5 minutes or so of watching Hans Rosling talk about the "Joy of Stats" was a real treat.  I can only imagine what some of these talks would have done this semester if I would have showed them at specific points throughout the semester in order to show why statistics is even useful, or how it is even used on display in the world around us. Related Links:   http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/whats-on/the-joy-statshttp://www.ted.com/speakers/hans_rosling.html ...
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Pre-Algebra and Algebra Resources

A few months ago I had students in my Basic College Math class create a game about fractions.  One student created "Fraction Bingo".  I decided to search the web to see if there were printable bingo sheets available.  Well, there were, along with some other activities that I found on the same website from Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.  And below is a list of a few of my favorite ones, appropriate for college-level basic math classes (organized by topic): Operations on Numbers Zero Sum Card Game  Adding Whole Numbers Tic-Tac-Toe Order of Operations "24" Fraction Bingo Fractions, Decimals, Percents Fraction/Decimal/Percent Percent Bingo Ratio Concentration Percent Tiles (HARDER) Geometry Polygon Rummy Pythagorean Triples Rummy Algebra One Step Equation Bingo What's Your Function? (Includes Exponential Functions) Statistics Mean/Median/Mode Permutations ...
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Factoring Activities and More

A few weeks ago a colleague of mine was in need of an activity for Factoring.  He was ahead of his pacing chart and wanted something to fill up some class time with.  I referred him towww.ilovemath.org, which has hundreds of free activities to download.  Here is a list of a few that I have successfully used the in the classroom:Solving Equations Writing AssignmentTwo-Step Equation Concentration Partner Problems SlopeLinear Relationships Sudoku Wartime Battle (Solving Systems of Equations)MATHO! Logarithm Game Cutout - FactoringPowers of i (This is a student favorite) Unit Circle Trigonometry (Follow the White Rabbit)The Game of Greed (Basic Statistics) ...
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Using TED in the Classroom

There were a couple of points this semester when I could hardly talk and needed to fill a few extra minutes of class time to give my voice a little rest.  I have heard about TED in the past, but hadn't really thought about how I could use it in the classroom.  Well, I tried it and it worked very, very well.  I showed Conrad Wolfram's talk "Teaching Kids Real Math with Computers" and then had students write a reaction to what they saw.  I haven't finished reading all the student papers yet, but I can tell that I have opened the eyes of many of my students to see math in a new and positive way.  And it's been a few weeks since I've shown the TED talk in class and I still have students talking about the video and how they see the points in the video as being a positive thing for the...
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Dimensional Analysis Problem

The other day in my Pre-Algebra class at HFCC we were talking about geometry, but I wanted to link it to the dimensional analysis that we had just done in the previous chapter since I knew that some of the students were struggling with the concept and could probably use the review.  So, when the opportunity arose, I came up with a problem off the top of my head.  This isn't something that I usually do because I have a hard time being creative under the pressure of standing in front of a room full of students.  However, I think that this problem just became an instant classic in my book, and that I will probably use the problem as an example again in the future.  Take a look for yourself. See the full gallery on Posterous ...
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Wolfram Demonstrations Project: The Double Cone

This afternoon I taught my College Algebra class about the Conic Sections, and The Double Cone project from the Wolfram Demonstrations Project came to mind.  I figured that it deserves a mention since it's the second time this semester that I have used it in my classes when explaning the conic sections.  It really seems to help the students visualize where the conic sections are coming from and why they are called conic sections. In fact, a few students this afternoon stayed after class to dicuss what they saw on the screen and we even looked a few other demonstrations, including the one on Superquadratics.  I really appreciated the student's input on what they saw, and a few of them even expressed interest in taking a trigonometry, calculus, or computer programming class.   Related Links:   http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/ConicSectionsTheDoubleCone/ http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/Superquadrics/ ...
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Algebra Activities Binder

I don't know whether this post should go under the category of "promotion" or not, but what I do know is that I regularly use Maria Andersen's Algebra Activities Binder in my classroom.  We have been talking about solving equations in my basic mathematics class at IADT, and to finish out the chapter, today I used pages 3 through 6 from the chapter on equations.  The students really seemed to enjoy working in groups on the pages, but it probably was too much for them to do within 1 hour I allotted for them to do it in. But after a good start working on the activities in class, the students showed some confidence that they would be able to complete the activities at home and bring them back at the next class. For more information on the Algebra Activities Binder, see:http://teachingcollegemath.com/algebra-activities/ ...
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Statistics Infographics Assignment

Specs for the infographics assignment for my Statistics class:   - Infographic example topics statistics on education in America statistics on OCC enrollment injuries in sports comparison of profits for Detroit Sports Teams Mistakes in the medical field - Include 3 different types of graphs (e.g., pie chart, line graph, bar graph, histogram, pictograph, ogive, etc.) - At least 4 colors - Group size: maxium 4, minimum 0 - Avoid plagarism - Due: In two weeks (the day of the final)   Example Infograpics: http://infographicsnews.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-infographics-of-2010-according-to.html http://nowsourcing.com/2010/03/17/social-media-infographic/ ...
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Calculus Activity for Implicit Differentiation

Some of you may remember that I mentioned something about needing an activity for implicit differentiation when I went for a job interview a few weeks ago.  Well, here it is.  It really, really, really is meant to for the students to cut the pieces apart and then match them up rather than just draw lines to match on the page.  But do what you wish.  I have the WORD file if you would like to edit.  And please send me feedback if your students are using this!  Thanks. (more…)...
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