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  • Jonathan Lind

    February 25, 2022 at 5:29 am

    This past week I’ve been working on probability with a class of 11th grade IB year 1 class. I started with a textbook 3-circle Venn diagram problem about speaking additional languages, with a list of information, and then parts a-e asking about number of elements in certain sets and probabilities.

    Anticipation: Before showing the problem, I asked my students whether they thought a person speaking, for example, French in addition to English might be independent or not from a person speaking Spanish in addition to English. This was a good opportunity to discuss and address the common misconceptions about independence, and really work on our understanding of the concept as it relates to probability.

    I did not find a good tie in for estimation, but I was just now thinking that I could have changed the languages to make it more relevant to my situation (an international school in the Persian Gulf region), and then asked them to estimate how many people in a random group of 60 students they think might speak these languages. Maybe next time this would be a good opportunity for engaging them in the problem. I also forgot to do a notice and wonder, but could have easily added that in when they were first presented with the clues.

    I removed some of the clues about the number of students in intersections, and removed the instructions to draw a Venn diagram, and gave them an abbreviated set of clues. Their job was to figure out what information to ask for so that they could find out how many total students were in the survey. This is my favorite part of all of this, because you get to really see students thinking through things and working together to figure things out. They eventually got to Venns, and asked the necessary questions, and were able to move on to figuring out whether speaking these languages were independent of each other.

    I need to like tattoo on the back of my hand that this makes math class more fun for everyone so that I remember to do it more often. It’s usually pretty easy to modify problems if I can remember to think about it!