Thursday, July 10, 2014

July Blogging Challenge - Reflections from APSI

This week, I have been at an AP Summer Institute (APSI)... well, actually I've been there part of the week. I was not in class on Monday because I traded spots with a colleague and started the week on the waiting list. Then one of the participants did not show up, so I was able to attend the other 3 days.

My take-aways from the week will be different from most people simply because I have taught AP Stat for MANY years, have been an AP Reader since 2008, and I've heard the presenter several times in the past. I also was going into the week with different expectations.. namely, I wanted to have the time with my colleagues and I wanted time to think about changes for this next year.

With that said, here's some thoughts from the week:

  • I am going to have a BLAST with StatKey this year. Since our school is going 1:1 with Chromebooks, I plan to integrate this a lot. I really love the 1 sample quantitative graphs where you can easily switch between dotplots, histograms, and boxplots. I also like that you can demonstrate how the different number of bins affects the look of the histogram. I think it will be useful for comparing two samples and I love that the scatterplots are easy to switch the variables, which will be good for demonstrating that the correlation stays the same but the LSRL does not.

  • We spent part of the time looking at the Instructional Planning Reports that were released this week. I am not extremely thrilled with the performance of my students, but I also know that I am not a number. At my school, we have open enrollment in AP Stat.... if you have passed Algebra 2 and you are willing to try, we'll take you. For many kids, we are the first (or only) AP class they have ever taken and I truly believe they are better off for having taken the course. Next year, we have 280 students enrolled and we will welcome them with open arms.

  • I haven't been to an APSI for several years, which means I haven't received copies of the newest textbooks for a while. Wow! I can't believe how much improvement there has been over the years! If someone were to look at the 1st edition of TPS (YMM) versus the 5th edition that I received this week, you would never guess they are in the same series of books! I am so impressed with the books and the resources and I can't wait to add them to my shelves!

  • Again with the Chromebooks, I was happy to see the Rice Lab applets now work with JavaScript. I have done the sampling distribution applet for years, sometimes in the computer lab, sometimes as a class demo, but I've never really connected it to the 2008 MC #39. In general, I've used the applet to establish the CLT, so I'm eager to try some new things with the applet!

  • One of the activities that we did was the Fish Oil Activity. In general, it was an activity for resampling quantitative data to illustrate simulated p-values and what a p-value really means. Since this is a topic that has shown up on the AP exam multiple times in recent years, this is a definite keeper. After doing it by hand a couple of times, we used the Rossman/Chance applets to illustrate this, although StatKey will do it as well. It reminded me of an activity that @approx_normal and I saw a few years ago at T3, which you can find on page 19 of this handout.
I have SO MUCH to do before school starts! Sigh...

July Challenge
I am on a personal challenge to blog every day in July, just to see if I can do it. I would love to have you join me! If you are worried that you've missed a few days, please don't stress.. just jump on in! Maybe a month is too much, that's okay, try it for a week, or every other day, or once a week.. whatever works for you!

Don't forget to visit the other July bloggers and show them some love!
The bloggers (so far)
Robin at Flip! Learn! Share
Bridget at Reflections in the Plane
Teresa at GeometryWiz
Sherrie at Middle School Math Rules!
Brooke at Sined, Sealed, Calculated
John at Functions are Fun
Jedidiah at Math Butler
Pam at the radical rational
Roxy at Rockstar Math Teacher
Paul at TeacherPaulP
Tina at Palmer's Ponderings
Cindy at School Stuff

Add your blog in the comments if you would like to join in! :)


Robin said...

Hi there! I joined the July blogging challenge a few days ago. Thanks for the push!

druin said...


I'm such a goof! I kept going to your profile and clicking on the blog link there, but it hadn't been updated since 2012. I just now saw that the link you typed is wordpress, not BlogSpot! I'm so sorry for the mess-up!