I was blown away following the Park City Math Institute online from twitter this year. I knew about the Park City curriculum, but wasn't aware the summer institute existed. I found it fun, and the little comments in the margin really made me feel like someone was cheering me on. Kudos to you guys and I'm soooo jealous of the ppl who were actually there. (Any t-shirts still available? I'll pay!!)
I'm looking at teaching algebra 2 and statistics and I want to thank you, because you got me thinking as to how I will challenge my kids. Probability is not my first unit, it's actually supposed to be second, but I think it will be third this year. I need a little more time to get my students to want to know things. I'm trying to consider what kinds of questions I can ask before starting a topic. (see the previous posting about pre-teaching) I want my kids ripping probability situations apart, in more than 1 way before I teach it.
I can't assume prior knowledge in inner-city students, especially in the suburbs of Detroit. I need to put it in there. I need to introduce low entry probability questions to use as warm-ups. The pre-teaching has two effects, it gets the kids used to thinking about probabilities and it gives me the chance to see how they are looking at those ideas. I really like the train problems from 2007 (day 5) as it is a real low entry question, which can be scaled up to allow me to use the idea a couple times. Also the paper ripping problems (day 1), for the same reasons. Also, from 2007 (day 4) I want the kids playing with the finding the area of a staircase problem.
There are a bunch of other great questions in there. I have starred about 5-6 of them, from the 2007 set I've mentioned and from this year's set (also on probability). Those I want to save for when I'm actually in the probability unit.
If you haven't looked through the Park City Mathematics Institute's materials, and if you are teaching high school leveled math, then you should be. 2001 - 2012 problem sets
EDIT: Thank you to Cal Armstrong (@sig225) on twitter who gave me the link for this year's problem sets. 2013 problem sets