Sunday, March 30, 2008

Melts in your Mouth... Not in your Hands :)

Everything I learned in Stat class, I learned from M&Ms :)

Some days, that statement feels so true. From univariate data (weights of bags, proportion of colors), to probability, and finally to inference, most topics in Intro Stat can be related back to M&Ms.

This week at the Uni level, we will delve into inference for proportions. As my Uni students have already figured out, I much prefer using real data to just putting problems on the board and droning on and on :) This week we will learn to do confidence intervals and hypothesis tests using M&Ms.

M&M Activity Sheet

At the HS level, when we covered this information, I chose not to do M&Ms and instead did a "globe toss" using a blow-up globe from Oriental Trading company. The students had a lot of fun tossing the globe around in the commons area and using the data generated to learn how to do a CI and HT for proportions. To top off the chapter, I gave a quiz a few days later. With the quiz, they each got a bag of Skittles and had to do the CI and HT for their bag. While it was a pain to grade, the kids enjoyed eating their quiz data :)

Globe Toss

Skittles Quiz


On a different note, I have no idea how many people have actually read this blog (other than Jackie - my lone commenter *grin*), so I don't know if the material I am posting has been useful to anyone out there or not. The AP Statistics community is fairly small and mostly rely on the ap-stat listserv to communicate with the other Stat teachers out there. However, I have found it rather interesting to post my lessons and commentary for my own documentation if nothing else. By updating the posts with what worked and what needs to be modified, I am hoping to use this like a journal as I teach the same lessons next year, tweaking and improving as I go.


Sarah Cannon said...

Druin has a blog! Yay!

(Thanks for mentioning it in your comment at dy/dan.)

I'm not teaching stats this year, but I'm super-excited for another forum to read your thoughts. And watching you share your lessons can only encourage me to share mine, right?

Related to this post, M&Ms do seem to be brought into almost every statistics classes. I think my first class without them was the intermediate statistics in college.

Anonymous said...

I taught chi-squared--goodness of fit with m&m's today. Next will be homogeneity and independence -also with m&m's. Gosh, my kids love m&m days. I have to ask though, what is PANIC and PHANTOMS. I can get pieces, but not all.