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Thursday, July 31, 2014

ACT Readiness Standards pt 2 -Probability, Stats and Data

This is the second posting in a series primarily aimed at my students regarding the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards.  My goal is encouraging self-assessment so that my students know where their weaknesses might lie, and hopefully getting them thinking about strengthening their skills before the start of school, or the official ACT assessment this upcoming school year.

The second list of topics in this series is Probability, Statistics and Data Analysis.

In our school, students first see probability and statistics in Algebra 2 (though there are many related topics which should be addressed in middle school mathematics).  A review of probability comes up in Algebra 2; for students wishing to learn more about these topics Statistics is available as an elective in their Senior year.

For the first example, students need to know which one word in the question?  Without knowing this math term, this is an impossible task, with this knowledge the question should be straightforward.

While this is a "higher leveled" question, I believe that it is also one which we should be able to figure out quickly.  Notice for a moment the wrong answers.  A.  We're looking at one of the 12 jelly beans, B. We're looking at 1 of 5 green jelly beans.  Can you guess how they arrived at the other two choices?

As mentioned in the first post in this series, our school's average Math ACT score is in the second range.  With regard to these topics, this means that our students (on average) cannot find a missing data value or compute simple probabilities (20-23), manipulate data from tables or graphs (24-27) or compute weighted averages.

As I will be teaching both Algebra 2 and Precalculus, I will be working more spiraling of probability & statistics topics into both classes.

If you are one of my students, then I challenge you to review basic probability.  I've got a special challenge for you this time.  Read through Bear in the Moonlight and then follow it up with James Tanton is the man!  Once you've done that, email me to let me know you did it.  (mr**&%hills@pre##$ remove spaces and special characters)


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