Friday, December 2, 2016

MfA Fall Function: Why I Stay

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of being asked to be the teacher keynote speaker at the 10th Annual MƒA Fall Function. Early in writing my speech it became clear that my speech should be about me, about the positive impact MƒA has had on my teaching career, but most importantly about what I feel makes MƒA so meaningful to someone like me.

The following is the speech I gave:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Thanks to the... Election, Statistics is Cool Again


Way back in 2012, Ellie Terry Vierling and I presented "Thanks to the 2012 Election, Statistics is Cool Again" at the inaugural MƒA MT2: Master Teachers on Teaching. Ellie and I looked at statistically modeling issues related to the election and cowrote an activity that we conducted in our classrooms. Guess what? Despite the fact that the 2016 presidential election is just slightly more bananas, it's still relevant.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Teaching Ideas to Prepare Your Students for the AP Stats Exam


Did you miss the Global Math Department webinar Bob Lochel, Doug Tyson, and I did a couple of weeks ago? Fear not, you can watch the archived video.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Joy of Stats

Hans Rosling has a bit of a cult following. In 2010, he aired an hour-long program on BBC, The Joy of Stats, and it has been one of my favorite statistics videos.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

U.S. Census Bureau: Statistics in Schools

The U.S. Census Bureau unveiled its newly updated Statistics in Schools program for K-12 teachers and students earlier this month. Using current and historical data, the Census Bureau program provides teachers the tools to help students understand statistical concepts and improve their data analysis skills. There are free online activities and other resources available in geography, history, social studies, sociology, as well as math.

It looks good.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Statistics Education & Social Justice

In August, I facilitated and attended a planning day with some fellow AP Statistics teachers at Math for America in NYC. We meet regularly throughout the year but we decided that the end of September was too long to wait to fully prepare for our year. Over a dozen of us showed up at the MƒA offices and spent over 4 hours discussing prep for our AP Stats courses. One of the main things on the agenda: how to incorporate social justice into our stats classes.

Friday, September 2, 2016

TMC NYC 2016 and Commute Times

I had a really great time at the mini Twitter Math Camp (TMC) conference in NYC last month. I met up with a great group of teachers to discuss math and teaching. I also presented about the statistical investigation process using commute times as a context.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Statistical Questions

What makes a question a statistical question? Furthermore, what makes a good statistical question?

The Common Core State Standards (6.SP.A.1) describes it like this:
... one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question and accounts for it in the answers. For example, “How old am I?” is not a statistical question, but “How old are the students in my school?” is a statistical question because one anticipates variability in students’ ages.
This statistics standard is slated for 6th grade students1, but I recently heard a more effective explanation of what a statistical question is that will be relevant for middle school, high school, and college statistics. It also defines what makes a statistical question a good one, which the Common Core definition does not.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

ASA's Prediction 2016 Contest


The American Statistical Association has a challenge for stats-savvy students: predict* the next U.S. president!

Prediction* 2016 is a contest for high school and undergraduate college students to predict* the winner of the U.S. presidential election using statistical methods. Winners will receive a variety of prizes and perks, including exposure to the nation’s leading statisticians and data scientists.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Common Core Algebra II: Music and Gender


In Fall 2015, NYS released a set of sample questions for the new Common Core Algebra II Regents. They included this question regarding independence. I've done similar questions like this with my AP Statistics students. Here, I outline how I would improve and present this question to Algebra II students. In fact, I've created two enhanced versions of this problem.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Wrong Way to Target Math (Part III)


I have waited over two months to continue my thoughts on Andrew Hacker. To be honest, the draft of this post has been sitting untouched since my first two posts. I thought the wait might help me mollify my response to his NY Times OpEd pieces and The Math Myth. Largely, though, it hasn't. I am still just as frustrated as I was before. Here, I'll try my best to wrap up my thoughts because I am eager to put him out of my mind soon. My goal is to answer questions like "Who Needs Statistics?" and "Is Political Science Necessary?" But first, in order for you to fully understand, I'll need to talk about knitting. No, really.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Wrong Way to Target Math (Part II)

Andrew Hacker: Which graph wore it better? 

Now that we've summarized the Hacker philosophy of math education, let's get back to my issues with the most recent Andrew Hacker OpEd regarding his insults to AP Statistics. This is where I start to get angry.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Wrong Way to Target Math (Part I)


If you know me (or follow me on Twitter), you know I have a few choice words for people like Andrew Hacker, with his anti-math stance and negative opinions on math education. I wasn't going to write anything because I didn't want to lend credibility to him or his agenda, but I can't contain myself any longer. He's really pissed me off with his most recent NY Times OpEd "The Wrong Way to Teach Math" by taking aim directly at AP Statistics. Don't worry, I promise I did not use profane language.  I used as little profane language as I could.