statistics is *sweet*

Today we had a different kind of test in AP Stats. We had multiple choice and free response questions pulled from past AP exams as usual, but there was another part that required students to demonstrate their knowledge about the rules of probability and random variable distributions using M&Ms. Since this is a very typical activity, I decided to incorporate it into a chapter test to mix things up a bit. Since my students are so used to doing hands-on activities in class, why not use one as a formal assessment? I think this is the first time I caught my students smiling during a test! For a sample activity set on M&Ms and probability, visit

Keeping it real.

“Keepin’ it Real: Real Math from Real Life”
Throughout my AP Statistics course, student groups will take turns recording and uploading a bi-weekly webcast in a news report-style format. Students will find real-life data and/or summary statistics and integrate topics discussed the previous 2 weeks in class to analyze or display the data in meaningful ways that are interesting for viewers. Students will be assessed on the inclusion and appropriate use of all of the methods discussed in class during the previous week and proper data collection from reliable, accurate sources using approved protocols. Students will also be assessed on their proper use of the vocabulary of statistics to describe the methods, results, and inferences included in their report. Other areas of assessment for this project will be determined collectively by the students as an introductory activity at the beginning of the school year. Students, parents, teachers, and community members outside of class will be able to view and critique this ongoing project, ensuring a dynamic, interactive project that will mimic the nature of relevant statistical research.

Graphin’! (again…)

This time the graphin’ fun was in AP Statistics. Students learned about different graphical displays that statisticians use to show the distribution of data sets. Students did two separate one day activities. The first required them to use our study card layout to describe an assigned graph. The second required students to choose real data sets from recent copies of the World Almanac and the Statistical Abstract of the United States and show the data in an appropriate display, as well as calculate measures of center and spread for the data set. These projects turned out to be fun and interesting, and I know that the students enjoyed them and learned a lot. Stay tuned for more updates!