Monday, July 30, 2007

AP Statistics Training

This week I am attending an AP Statistics Institute in Denver. I have attended a few of these before. I was feeling a bit reluctant to go because it is giving up the last few precious hours of my summer unscheduled time, is in Denver, and I've been before.

But today I was happy with the event. I have a good trainer, and it is different enough from what I've done that it is useful - I got literally about 50 pounds of supplementary material to take home - textbooks, software demos, activities written by the trainer, etc. It also gives me an opportunity to try to figure out how and when I will use the TI-Nspire instead of the TI-84 as I work on some of the problems - because they each have distinct advantages and disadvantages. But I am in virgin territory there - no one else has yet seen the Nspire, not even the trainer. I think I managed to pick two good training programs this summer. Plus I got college credit for both.

Today I was reminded of the fact that the location of one standard deviation from the mean on the standard normal model is the inflection point of the curve - I have not taught that to my kids before and it would be very useful for them in making better model sketches. Also, I learned a better way of thinking about the variance of a linear regression model (r-squared)than I've had before. And, I have a few good ideas for great activities the first day or two of classes that I am looking forward to trying it.

My classes are all large this year - the smallest one is 31. But the trade off is that 4 out of 5 of them are honors classes, albeit mostly freshmen, and 4 out of 5 I am the only one teaching them so I can design them pretty much how I want within the given constraints for each course/grade.

Finally, I also learned I now have enough experience to qualify is an AP-exam scorer. I think I will apply to do that for next summer because expenses are paid and it is a paid position on top of that, and involves a bit of travel to somewhere and would only take a week or two, as well as that due to relatively low numbers of applicants for the Stats exam, I have a good chance of being selected.

No comments: