Thursday, May 24, 2007

Recommendations for New AP Stat teachers

First things first:
Some sample syllabi for different books:
The Listserv for AP Stat:
If you start with someone else's syllabus, then add those things that will CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE that you are satisfying the requirements (students use calculators and computer output to do everything, they do a lot of descriptive stat and experimental design, they integrate all of the concepts along the way. . .) you should be OK. Don't panic if it takes forever for the course to be approved. Stat is taking a lot longer than most.

Then, the important stuff--recommendations for the new AP Stat teacher:

Attend a Summer Institute Paul Myers at Woodward Academy offers several throughout the summer. I think that Chris Franklin up at UGA will probably be hosting one, too. An institute for beginning teachers is best.

Look though the materials you get at the institute. The publishers load the instructors down with copies of their texts, so you will have copies of just about everything out there.
Learn to do some simple stuff on Fathom, including LSRL and inference procedures. These are much easier than the simulations (which look like sleight of hand). You can do the simulations on the calculator.

Come to the Rock Eagle Conference and join the GAAPMT. Our mini-conference is Friday of the Georgia Math Conference weekend. We plan to have Paul Myers present, we'll share activities, and we'll dissect the free response questions from this year's test.

Plan to attend the one-day conference on teaching and learning in Atlanta. Last year Chris Olsen presented. Dan Yates has presented several times.

Bookmark the AP Listserv and read the postings frequently. Don't "join" unless you want to ask questions because your mailbox will be full!

Here's my blog address: I post info for the kids and they post questions for all of us.

And then, the enduring understandings.
You will be teaching a wide variety of abilities.
Some of your kids will be bored by most of this.
Their parents generally cannot help them (good thing--they think that you use t-procedures for small sample sizes and z for large!!! sooooooo old school.)
Some kids will be rudely awakened to find out that this is not a slacker class.
You will learn something new or refine something you thought you knew almost every day.
You will realize that you are the luckiest teacher in your school to get to teach such a practical, cutting-edge course.
Welcome to the cult.