Reflection: Pacing Solving Probability Problems and Learning Target Check In - Section 1: Opener: A Cards Problem


As I sit down to share this lesson with you, I'm reminded of how there's always so much content I want to squeeze into a course, and only so many days to do it! That's what I love about teaching - that constant engagement of thinking about what kids know, what they need to know, the goals of the course, and what to do next.

The course I'm sharing here is particularly interesting because it's more open-ended than others. I want to expose kids to big ideas while helping them practice on basic skills. So it may seem like I over-emphasize certain ideas while glossing over others. That's what really happens in any given year.

For different math courses, the guiding principles for teachers are different. When I teach 9th grade algebra, I constantly ask myself, "How can I teach students as many algebra concepts as possible while helping them acclimate to high school with the tools they'll need to make the most of the next four years?" In AP Computer Science it's a different question: "How might I equip these students with the study skills they need to make sense of a massive amount of incredibly detailed - and incredibly engaging - content?" Here, it's "How can I expose students to as many fascinating ideas as possible so they leave high school with a positive impression of mathematics while tricking them into being excited about reinforcing basic skills?"

With that goal in mind, this lesson follows. With this first semester coming to a close, there are learning targets and ideas we won't get to. As teachers, it's our job to filter all of that pressure - of what we'd hoped to do, of what the curriculum says we should accomplish, of what we know kids will need as they move one - and not to pass it on to our students. There's so much to learn: and that's a joyful thing!

  So Many Ideas, So Little Time
  Pacing: So Many Ideas, So Little Time
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Solving Probability Problems and Learning Target Check In

Unit 4: Statistics: Using Probability to Make Decisions
Lesson 4 of 7

Objective: SWBAT solve problems involving simple and compound probability, by applying the addition rule, the multiplication rule, combinations, and permutations.

Big Idea: Spending a work period on a problem set is a way of slowing down: not in a way that abandons urgency, but in a way that allows everyone to say, "Hmm, ok, I have learned a lot of new stuff, and actually, I do know how to use it!"

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u4 l4 counting and probability problem set
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