Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Stats Project Day 0

Today was the first day for the stats project with my Sheltered Algebra class. And it did not go well. That's not true...the students did great. I flubbed the execution of my lesson plan and that affected the flow of the lesson.

Here is a post with some background on this project.  And here is a post from Monday talking about how excited I was for this lesson.


Lesson Reflection

First, I decided NOT to start with immigration data or graphs. I thought a lot about this, and because this unit is going to be so language intensive for my students, especially in the beginning of the unit, I wanted to start with something hands-on so they could ground the vocab and sentence frames in context. 

Thus, I decided to start with Hula Hoop task. I posed the question "how long would it take for 100 students to pass a hula hoop? But the students need to hold hands."

Note: I know the lesson I"m describing here is NOT PBL--we will be getting to that next week (I think). Because English is not the first language of my students, I'm trying to be deliberate about how I approach the academic language production. I"m not doing PBL for the sake of doing PBL. I'm doing PBL because I think it is a great way to teach stats in context. But before I can do that, the students need to be able to access the content. Hence, they need some intentense language instruction and support. 

I asked them how could we figure this out. They had some great ideas. My favorite was some variation on "take data for x number of students and multiply to get 100". We talked about why this would work. 

Then I dropped the ball and skipped right to the notes. Sigh...there was such great momentum and thinking going on and I killed it but switching to notes.

I had planned to pose the question, have them think about how to answer it, then start collecting data. I was going to project the Google Sheet as I entered the data and have Google make the scatter plot real time. THEN, we would go back, name all the stuff we just did, then use the trendline equation to predict the time for 100 students. 

Instead I did notes after introing the task. THEN we came back to the hula hoop. They had fun collecting the data, but they were not very interested in the prediction part. 

The notes weren't bad (partial screenshot of the notes below). In terms of vocab, I tried to narrow down to the least number of REALLY important words that directly related to each other. But for students that do not speak english, any amount of direct instruction in English can be fatiguing. Thankfully, I have a support teacher than is bilingual Spanish and he helped them with translation as needed. 


I also don't like how I phrased the goal. Rather than a statement, I wished I had framed it as a question. How long will it take 100 students to pass a Hula Hoop?

All that being said, there was some good parts to the lesson. I made a new Vocab Party and the students did well on that. They also remember a lot from 1st semester when we learned how to describe graphs. That was good! 

I also got the sense they really understood that a trend line approximates the data, but I don't have any student data to back them up. It is part of the next lesson, so I'll see how they do then. 

Speaking of the next lesson, I'm going to definitely make a few changes in that lesson based on how today went. What do they call it? Fixing the plane as you fly it...yes!

More to come...

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