Category Archives: Common Core

Online Resources for Teaching Statistics

Image of workers in Section of Vital Statistics (Census): 1909

Isn’t this a cool picture of workers in the Census Bureau from 1909?  I found it on the Library of Congress website at www.loc.gov?  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a statistician 100 years ago!  Technology makes statistical analysis so much easier and quicker!

Today’s blog post is for teachers whose standards include the teaching of statistics.   These resources were gleaned from a MOOC I planned to participate in called Teaching Statistics Through Investigations.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to fully participate in this MOOC, but I was able to glean some useful information that I wanted curate here in this post.

First, Tech Tools:

http://www.tinkerplots.com/

http://fathom.concord.org/

http://www.statcrunch.com/

https://tuvalabs.com/k12/

https://public.tableau.com/s/

https://plot.ly/

http://www.jake4maths.com/grapher/

Next, YouTube Playlists:

TSDI-Unit Introduction Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgaq7phl8BMFzuxr9meK16MK0

TSDI-Expert Panel Discussions in Statistics Education:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgaoY2LN0Z3RvbjpcxgAntatL

TSDI-Animated Illustrations of Students’ Statistical Reasoning:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgapHVNAL4251iFoK_FohKl2o

TSDI-Instructional Support Videos in Statistics Education
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgaocM_zesW4_Co1YBNgIM7-o

TSDI-Other videos we used from YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG6iFkLydgaroOKXMhze7etkwpCdFm7QN

And finally, an opportunity to subscribe to a newsletter for K-12 teachers of statistics:

The Statistics Teacher Network (STN) is a free newsletter published by the ASA/NCTM Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability for Grades K-12. Issue 86 of STN is now online atwww.amstat.org/education/stn.

Reflections from a Twitter Chat: Connected Educator Month

As part of my “celebration” of October as Connected Educator Month, I thought I would post a short reflection following my Saturday morning Twitter chat today. I like to participate in #SatChat which occurs every Saturday morning at 6:30 am Central Time (where I live). It’s pretty early, but I’m a morning person, so I’m already “up” if not fully awake…a couple little dogs are on a morning routine that helps ensure that I’m ready to go when 6:30 rolls around. So I grab my coffee and log in to HootSuite, the tool I like to use to more easily follow the chat messages as they come in. This morning, I just climbed back in bed with my laptop and participated in my pjs…now that is some convenient professional learning, right there!

As I was participating in today’s topic of “Game Changers,” I was challenged by some of the questions the moderator posed, especially Q2: How does your philosophy of education impact student success? and Q4: Does your philosophy of education make you a game changer? So I thought about how I could have an increased impact and be more of a game changer. This reflection combined with Connected Educator challenges I’ve been working on resulted in a conviction to be more reflective and regular in my blogging practices. I frequently share things from my Saturday morning Twitter chats with individual teachers or administrators in our district, but I don’t know if I have ever actually blogged my reflections for all to see. Who knows…maybe someone, somewhere will read my reflection and be challenged to impact students under their direction in a positive way. So, here is my first post reflecting personally on #SatChat October 18, 2014:

Game changers are important to keep education moving because the world is constantly changing. We’ve all seen the quotes about how industry has changed so much in the last 100 years, but if a teacher from 100 years ago walked in to a school or classroom, they would know just what to do because education has changed very little while other industries have been through total transformations. I hope in the schools I support, a similar transformation is starting. We don’t need to change everything…just the things that are not the BEST. Keep what’s best and change the rest.

A couple of quick resources to share that I gleaned from this morning’s chat:

1.  An article to read about Rigor:  22 Ways to Add Rigor to Your Classroom

Although the term “rigor” is not a new one, the emphasis on rigor in education today is high.  We see it mentioned in new standards, new teacher evaluation tools, and lots of educational commentary.  I like the definition of Rigor from  The Glossary of Education Reform which includes this phrase:

” instruction, schoolwork,learning experiences, and educational expectations that are academically, intellectually, and personally challenging”

You can read the whole article explaining rigor here:  http://edglossary.org/rigor/

2.  A blog post that could challenge you, but also might help you maintain sanity as a teacher:  Buried Alive:  A Cautionary Tale about Piles of Work

In this post, Starr Sackstein reflects on sharing responsibility with students as a way to both empower students AND maintain a reasonable work load for the teacher.  While she is a journalism teachers, her post has relevance for teachers of all subjects.

In the future, I’ll try to be more reflective following my Saturday morning Twitter chats, so that others can also benefit from my early, weekend morning forays into professional learning in my pajamas!

Students Need an Audience!

The inspiration for this post comes from a book I’m currently reading. Those of you who know me well will not be surprised to hear that I’m reading a mystery series as I have been a long time fan of the genre. I grew up with Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys topping the list of books I checked out from the Mary Cotton Library in my small Kansas hometown. On Saturday mornings, my favorite cartoon was Scooby Doo! As I became a more mature reader, Stephen King, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell and true crime novels have prevented much productivity in my life!

An author I recently discovered has now become my new method for relaxing: Elizabeth Peters. Her Amelia Peabody series is not new, just new to me. I’m in the third of the books in the series where the main character, Amelia Peabody is solving mysteries in the setting of archeological excavations in Egypt. Peters’ sense of humor comes through with subtlety in her writing, and I enjoy the challenge posed by the interesting vocabulary with which she writes.

So . . . How does this all tie in to the title of the post, “Students Need an Audience!”? Well, in the book I’m reading, Peters’ character, Amelia Peabody has a short passage where she is expounding on why she references “gentle Reader” when she really doesn’t intend for her “memoirs” to be ever published. The following passage is straight from the book:

Why then, the gentle Reader will ask, do I infer his or her existence by addressing her, or him? The answer should be obvious. Art cannot exist in a vacuum. The creative spirit must possess an audience. It is impossible for a writer to do herself justice if she is only talking to herself.

When I read this passage, it struck me as a great reference for why we as teachers need to strive to provide an audience for the work of our students. I know I have had students in the past who would give me good work simply because they respected me and wanted to please me, or some who have set high personal expectations for themselves who do good work because that is their own personal standard. But I wonder if “good” would have been “better” or maybe even “great” had I made more of an effort at finding them an authentic audience for their work?

Another post will have to explore the definition of “authentic audience” and how a teacher can help students find their audience!

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