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Day 49: Simulation A La Frappy

I continue to believe that one of the most powerful teaching strategies I employ with my AP Statistics class is the FRAPPY.  Students work on a released AP question related to the topic we’re studying.  After they have the allotted time (12-15 minutes to quietly write out their response), they talk with their group and adjust their answer using a green pen. Then they look at student responses together and assess the quality of the responses; if there is anything in the response my students want to add to their own response they can again add it using green pen.  Finally they use the rubric to assess their final answer.


And one of the most compelling aspects is the student reflection I added to the process.  Although it was discussed as a good practice I felt I needed to be very purposeful with my students about the reflection.  For this Frappy, the students did the 2001 Problem 3: Radio Givaway:

Every Monday a local radio station gives coupons away to 50 people who correctly answer a question about a news fact from the previous day’s newspaper.  The coupons given away are numbered from 1 to 50, with the first person receiving coupon 1, the second person receiving coupon 2, and so on, until all 50 coupons are given away.  On the following Saturday, the radio station randomly draws a number from 1 to 50 and awards cash prizes to the holders of the coupons with these numbers.  Numbers continue to be drawn without replacement until the total amount awarded first equals or exceeds $300.  If selected, coupons 1 through 5 each have a cash value of $200, coupon 6 through 20 each have a cash value of $100, and coupons 21 through 50 each have a cash value of $50. (a) Explain how you would conduct a simulation using the random number table provided below to estimate the distribution of the number of prize winners each week.

Part (b) to perform the simulation 3 times is usually straightforward for the kids.  So the big focus is on explaining how to run the simulation.  Here are some examples of my students’ reflections on their performance and lessons learned:


“I understood the concept…I should think about the entire process when writing the response”  This student identified the part of the process that was missing in the final response.


“I need to remember the smaller details that tend to fit into every type of this problem”  I just love the generalization the student is trying to make here!!  And the student provides specific ways to do this.


“I did not specify to count the # of winners, which is the point of the question, even though I did it….Next time, I will …actually address the question.”  This student recognizing the importance of clearly writing each step and reading the directions.

If I were to describe these errors and caution students against them, it would fall on deaf ears.  How beautiful and powerful for students to self-critique!!

Day 32: Frappy Love


I have to say that the FRAPPY process I borrowed from Jason Molesky is the number one most powerful learning practice I use in my AP Statistics class.  It’s so easy with the AP released free response questions to create new FRAPPY experiences and rotate questions thorough from year to year. Today, I’m copying the items for the end of our linear regression study.  I really like how I’ve incorporated a written student reflection at the end of the FRAPPY because I get a better insight into the areas students are struggling as well as giving the students a voice for their self-reflection.


I would love to develop a similar set-up for my precalculus course.  Alas, I have not found a good source of problems with rubrics and student work examples at the precalculus curriculum level.  There are more and more good problem sets for the Common Core courses, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 that have student work examples and rubrics to go with the problems.  When I teach those courses again, I will definitely include a FRAPPY-like experience for those students.

What do you dream of doing but just can’t find the time and/or resources to make it happen?


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