Day 2: Summer Review Stations
Over the last few years I have assigned to my AP Statistics students a summer work packet. Thanks to Joel Evans, I got some great ideas for Topics for the students to explore and how the to use google docs to collect my new students’ survey and results . However when they came back to school, I didn’t have a good way to assess what they knew and didn’t know from the summer experience. Also I had not been very successful using the student data I collected throughout the year. You know how things go, as the year progresses you get bogged down in the everyday and lose sight of your best summer intentions.
Since we started classes the day after Labor Day, which is a week later than usual, we were already a week behind last year’s schedule before we even started because the AP exam is essentially on the same day this year, May 12th. How was I going to make up a week of time without telling the kids off and the first week? I knew I needed to do something that was engaging and yet covered essential topics they would need for the AP exam. That being said I really wanted to do something different this year. Learning stations worked so nicely last year, and my students indicated in their end of year evaluation, that they liked the review stations a lot. I thought stations would be a good way to introduce students to each other and to get them talking about statistics and data right away.
I spent some time looking at what was in the first chapter that have already been covered in the summer work and correlated the two. Then I divided those topics into 8 stations. Initially, I thought it would be fun for my students to do some data collection activities. But right away I decided it would be too much too soon. I also realize I wanted to use their summers survey results. So, instead, I created activities around each of those 8 topics that would also use their survey results as much as possible. Since we don’t have the technology ready yet (that is, everyone having an iPad ready) I made answer packets for the students to record their answers.
I also copied the Summer Survey Results on the back of the AP allowed formulas that we use first semester and had them put in a plastic sleeve. We had a nice discussion about how data is recorded and how statisticians, dispite their best efforts, get “junk” results…since some of the student results were unexpected. Now I hope I will use that data more readily.
I was really excited to try the stations out. As you can see, I believe the activity was a great success! Since we have shortened class periods this week, it will take my students three days to get through the eight stations. ID them 15 minutes per station and used Online Stopwatch projected at the front of the room to keep the groups focused. I just loved (and was happily amazed at) the student dialogue, how they filled in missing ideas for each other and the questions my kiddos asked each other and me. I believe it is going to be a great year!
I have to say this was one of the most successful and engaging ways to start my AP statistics course! What did you do to get your kids and just stop and engaged in your first week?