This is Tulip Time in Holland, MI. That means half-days on Wednesday and Thursday and lots of parades and Dutch Dancing. So, my students are really busy this week, and I see them for one less day. That’s alright, it’s taper time for our review process. I haven’t assigned HW since Friday. My students need to do their own studying now. I hope they have put some time towards their AP Stats review.
Today (3rd period) and yesterday (7th period) I reviewed “big ideas”. We discussed:
1. Describing distributions (shape, center, spread, gaps) and scatterplots (strength, direction, form).
2. Using context in their descriptions.
3. Difference between interpreting confidence intervals and confidence level.
4. How the length of a CI is affected by confidence level and sample size.
5. Checking criteria for BOTH CIs and HTs.
6. Type I and Type II errors and Power
7. Conditional probabilities and determining independence
Boy, if my students could really nail these ideas, I think they would be in good shape.
I started the last review session with reminding my students that nothing bad can happen tomorrow. Either they will score high enough to get college credit for Introductory Statistics or they will have an easy college class. Some of my students countered they would waste $80+ on the test. True, but many kids may spend close to that on a week’s worth of carney food during Tulip Time.
Good luck everyone. This AP Stats teacher is routing for you tomorrow.
I did some statistical voodoo last night. I’m not proud. You see I had to assign grades to my students’ practice AP test scores. I had to try to figure out cut scores on a practice test with 4 FRQs that I chose and 32 MC questions from a secure AP test. Bias everywhere. Did I choose FRQs I knew my students could handle? Are the first 32 MC questions systematically different than all 40 questions? Did I grade true to the published scoring guides? Am I being fair to my students with the grade I assign? Sorcery, I tell yahs.
The happy news, none of my students seemed upset by their grade. They all seemed to believe their scores were appropriately assigned. So there’s that.
2s: Bs to B-s
1s: C range
After the grade sheets were handed out, we went over the FRQs and started reviewing the MC questions. 52 minutes went quickly. Then I had to collect the secure MC tests (I’m not the weak link!). We will try to review some more MC questions as needed.
So close now!
I made a mistake. So many of my students were missing class Friday that I gave the MC practice test on Monday. Mistake. I really should have made certain the practice test was completed the week before the real AP tests begin. What a nightmare of make-ups and the like.
Well, I gave the MC practice on Monday. While the kids were taking the test I finished up grading their FRQ practice test. The kids had no issue finishing the 32 questions (yes, I know there are 40) in our 52 minute class periods.
For HW tonight I had one of my better ideas in decades. Just for those taking the National Exam, I had them read a wonderful article written by an esteemed AP Stats teacher and reader (can’t think of his name) that offers some helpful hints on taking the exam. I sent out a google form and required each student to enter five things they gleaned from the article. The beauty of the google form is I have everyone’s responses in one sheet that I can share with all. Everyone learns from everyone. Nice.
Crazy Friday. About of one-third of my AP classes were absent Friday attending athletic and co-curricular events. Another group of kids had to take their practice MC test early since they are talking real AP Tests Monday. A third chunk kids are not taking the stats national exam so I allowed them to prepare for other academic related activities (this is the first time in the review process that I allowed this), and the rest I worked with in small groups. It was fun to work with 5-8 students working on some FRQs. I was able to discuss using simulations to produce a p-value in more detail. I didn’t assign any HW over the weekend. The kids need to do their own test preparation. We have reviewed everything, and now my students need to personalize their own review.
I’m in the midst of grading their practice FRQ test. Some of my students have to do a bit more work before they are ready, but most seem to be coming along just fine. Even my students that are not taking the national exam are doing pretty well. Excellent, you guys, so proud. However, please check your criteria, please! So many of my students didn’t check criteria for a confidence interval. Ughhh…
Well, we are almost there. I’m ready. I hope my students are ready also.
We took a practice test today. Three “regular” FRQs and one #6. Everyone was able to finish without issue. I’m not sure how to feel about that. Does that mean I didn’t select a good representation of the exam? You know, a good mix of easy, medium, and hard? Or, perhaps my students were ready and prepared? And even, the test was so hard that they weren’t able to give it a fair effort? I will find out this weekend when I grade the FRQs I guess.
Now, how to scale a shortened test? I don’t believe I will make the #6 worth 25% of their FRQ score. Considering the shortened number of FRQs on their practice test, I don’t wish to over emphasize the #6 in their grade. I’m not sure if my logic is great, but that’s the best I got right now. So, I will weigh each FRQ equally.
#1: ______ X 3.125 = _____ (Max = 12.5)
#2: ______ X 3.125 = _____ (Max = 12.5)
#3: ______ X 3.125 = _____ (Max = 12.5)
#4: ______ X 3.125 = _____ (Max = 12.5)
Total = _______ (Max = 50)
Homework tonight consisted of recent FRQs including a chi-square, a simulation example, and another one I absolutely can’t remember at this very moment. Yep, I’m losing it. Teaching an AP course does that to a mind.
I feel a little better after today. We did some #6s, a simulation problem (milk volume), and again reviewed inference for slope. I can check those off my list of stuff that was causing me anxiety. I’m trying to convince the kids that simulation problems are really pretty easy. We also discussed to have faith in their skills while working on the #6 FRQ. You just need to crash through it, and get as many points as possible. We haven’t discussed the strategy of tackling the #6 FRQ first or second yet. Perhaps next week.
So, tomorrow my kids are taking a practice FRQ portion of the test. When we had 72 minute classes, I would give the entire FRQ portion one day and the entire MC portion the next day. It really gave the kids an idea of the intensity of the test. This year I’m give 3 regular FRQs and one #6 FRQ. I figure that should take about 55 minutes (10+10+10+25). I like to give the FRQ portion first so I have extra time to grade those buggers. After the test the kids will have some FRQs for HW. I’m done correcting and quizzing on them now. They just need to do them for their own preparation.
I would like to have given the MC portion on Friday, but I have a number of kids missing for forensics and athletics. Monday will be the day for the MC portion. I won’t be able to give all 40 questions, but I will probably have them do 35 questions. My kids have traditionally not needed the entire 90 minutes for the MC portion. I know I will have to be flexible though.
I didn’t assign any HW tonight. I wanted to give my students an opportunity to do chose what the need to study. I hope they take the opportunity to do so. Just of couple more days of HW from me. We are getting there.
I’m tired. I’m sure my students are as well. I have to remember that.