Teaching the Runs Test for Randomness

The other day in my statistics class, I was teaching the runs test for randomness.  One of my students keeps on asking for an in-class activity, and it happened that I had an extra half-an-hour of class time to spare.  So, I adapted this famous teaching experiment for use in my own class. The set-up:  I split the class into 8 groups, with 3-4 students in each group.  Four of the groups were labeled ‘Group A’ and the other four groups were ‘Group B’.  Group A went into the hallway while I explained the assignment to Group B. Group B was the coin tossing group.  They were asked to flip a coin 200 times and record the sequence of heads and tails that they observed.  Once I made sure that Group B understood the instructions, they went into the hallway while I explained the assignment to Group A.   Group A was the random listing group.  They were asked...
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The Beef Taco Dilemma

This is a problem that I wrote for my statistics class.  The objectives for this problem are as follows: 1.  Compute percentages. 2.  Compute the arithmetic mean. 3.  Critically think about whether or not Joe had enough tacos to meet the 'average' demand.   What I found was some students had a hard time computing the percentages and some also had a hard time keeping straight how many beef and how many chicken tacos Joe ordered on each day. ...
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First Day Policies and Activities

Below is a list of rules that I plan to give to my students on the first day of class to try to prevent some of the behaviors that bothered me last semester from occurring again during the upcoming semester.  If the tactics in the handout seem a little extreme, good, I mean them to be.  I want students to realize that certain behaviors have consequences, both for the low achieving students and the high achieving students, both at school and at home.  I know that I will not get through to every student, but if you like my handout, feel free to tell some of the stories in your own classroom. The_Rules.pdf Download this file As for how I am going to present the rules on the first day of class, I am going to use the grid below.  The students will be given a blank version to fill out while I am giving an overview of the...
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Histogram Sorting Using Cooperative Learning

CAUSEWeb really does put out some great activities for teaching Introductory Statistics, such as Histogram Sorting Using Cooperative Learning.  In fact, they have an entire Statistics Activity Webinar Series that they do regularly.  I was told that this particular activity would easily be modified for the college classroom (where we sometimes don't have as much time).  My modification is below.  The file includes a student instruction sheet, three pages of student 'cards' and three pages of solutions for the instructor.  Enjoy, and make sure to check out the  CAUSEWeb Statistics Activity Webinar Series! Histogram Sort...
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NOIR: New Statistics Game

NOIR stands for Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, Ratio, and is a game to help students distinguish between the four different levels of measurement.  I had been working on this game all week, and I finally had time for my students to play it in class on Thursday.  After the game, they filled out a review form for the game.  I have already tweaked the game slightly based on their feedback as the cards were not originally numbered, so it was very hard for the answers to be checked.  The students wanted the definitions on the game board somewhere, but I think that having the definitions there would defeat the purpose of helping them learn the definitions.  I did let students use notes during the game, but after they started to get used to the definitions, I saw less and less flipping through the book and notes. Each group of four students (two teams of two students each) was given two game boards...
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Helpful Links (circa 2005)

This list of links was complied somewhere around 2005.  Ugh.  That seems like a long time ago.  I'm a lot better than this now. Statistics Links Oakland University Mathematics DepartmentA Guide to Statistical SoftwareFree Statistical SoftwareThe R Project for Statistical ComputingResources for Graduate Students Mathematics LinksFigure This! Math Challenges for FamiliesNational Council of Teachers of MathematicsBirthdays of Famous MathematiciansMath DictionaryDERIVEHot Math Homework HelpQuick MathMathematics Help CentralS.O.S. – CalculusThe Math Forum Education LinksTeacher Files – Clip ArtInformation on Block SchedulingMeasurement ConverterMetric Conversion TableRubriStarDiscovery SchoolBreakthrough CollaborativeTeach with MoviesTop 10 Inspirational Movies for TeachersUnited Teachers of Flint Other Cool Math Related LinksMath2.orgMath.comAplusmath.comGomath.comGPA CalculatorOperations Research Excel Add-Ins Julia Set GeneratorMandelbrot Movie Maker ...
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Statistics Resources from Across the Web

I'm preparing to teach statistics this summer, so statistics resources are on my radar right now.  Here are some that have been fed to me recently: 1.  Prezi on 'Beyond Tables' -- Awesome Prezi on ditching the tables and integrating applets such as those over at Surf Stat.   Beyond Tables on Prezi 2.  YouTube Video - "Benford's Law -- How Mathematics Can Detect Fraud!"  -- I wanted to teach Benford's Law better the last time I taught statistics, but I didn't know how.  This will help. 3.  10 Jaw-Droppingly Awesome Infographics on Education -- If you didn't see my spiel on Infographics from the last time I taught statistics, I would definitely plan using this assignment again in the future.  This is just one more example of why -- Infographics are just so awesome! http://blog.socrato.com/10-jaw-droppingly-awesome-infographics-on-education/ 4.  Chi-Square Goodness of Fit Resources -- Some highlights of a recent web search I did on the topic. http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fancher/Bio101/ChiSquare.doc http://www.jmap.org/JMAP/SupportFiles/Amsco_Textbooks/Algebra_2_and_Trigonometry/Enrichment_Activities/AT16-3_Chi-square_Test_for_Goodness_of_Fit.pdf http://homepage.mac.com/bradthiessen/stats/m301/11.pdf ...
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