There are so.many.things out there on math blogs. I share my own, I forward others to my department, I try them in my class.
And I love it.
After this post, a comment sent me to Math With Bad Drawing’s Probability stories, and Ben Orlin graciously gave me permission to repost them on my (private) class blog. One of my students even asked when their next bedtime story was!
I love coming up with really interesting ways to teach things, and engage my students, and do inquiry.
But sometimes I need to take a step back and remind myself that isn’t always the answer. (I think.) As I mentioned, my AP classes have just started Probability. I’m not that great at teaching it. It’s my students weakest area, so its a safe bet its mine too (and my fault). Most of my class had to retake that test last year.
So I spent a lot of time and agony on this years schedule. I added a couple of days. I tried to come up with great things to do.
But you know what I think we need right now? Some practice. We need to do some problems. We need the time and the space and the permission to draw 20 Venn diagrams and fill them in correctly, til it isn’t at all scary anymore. We need to find conditional probability of six different situations, one at a time. And we need to make sure we have our vocab and probability rules down.
Ironically, this is so, so easy to plan. I wrote 5 problems. I’m done teaching for two days. It feels lazy, but that doesn’t mean it is–and it doesn’t mean that’s bad for my students.
I wish I was better at really teaching this so they got it…but until I am, giving them to time and space to really practice (and review each problem, one by one) is the most beneficial thing I can think of.
Do you feel guilty when you do “boring” things in class? Any more ideas on how to help my kids with probability?