Over the past several years of teaching the AP Stats - CED lessons, we have accumulated dozens of post-it notes with adjustments, reminders, and general updates that we wanted to implement to the lessons. While our current lessons have always been effective for our students, we recognize that there are always improvements that can help not only our own students, but also for other students and teachers using our lessons. Throughout this year, we have been dedicated to making these updates to create a set of newly "refreshed" lessons for all AP Stats students and teachers to enjoy.
If you've been using any of the refreshed lessons, the first thing you may have noticed is a refreshed look. We have updated many of the intro images and all of the refreshed lessons now feature the same font we use on Math Medic (our favorite Avenir!).
According to our students, they like the new look (we showed them both the old and new) since it makes the lessons
easier to read (students were very grumpy about Arial)
less intimidating to dive into
look more like an activity and less like notes
Now that we have been teaching the current lessons for many years, we have noticed a decline in students' interest in certain topics. Here are some of the questions that students have asked us:
Why does the iPhone data stop in 2008?
What’s “Back to the Future”? (honestly sad to see this one go)
Why are we still talking about a basketball game from 2005?
To create an engaging experience, it is important to use contexts that are relevant to our students (see Skew the Script). In the refreshed lessons, we have introduced new topics such as Monster Energy, Taylor Swift, and the World Cup. Teaching these new contexts has resulted in a higher level of excitement from our students.
While we are fortunate to have 55-minute classes at East Kentwood High School, we understand that not all teachers have the same luxury. If we find ourselves rushing through lessons (despite being quite efficient), we can only imagine the challenges faced by other teachers with less time. For the refreshed lessons, our goal was to enable teachers to cover all aspects of the lessons without feeling rushed, particularly for those with shorter class periods. Sometimes, this involved rethinking what the “experience” portion of the lesson looks like.
What other types of changes did we make?
Reduced emphasis on creating graphs from scratch
Assigned students to "complete" tables rather than the fill in the entire table
New instructions for collecting class data more efficiently
These are just a few of the efficiencies we implemented. Our hope is that these lessons will increase the likelihood of completing the entire curriculum and allow for more time for meaningful conversations. Here are some more tips on how to increase efficiency:
Perfect CED Alignment
While refreshing these lessons, we have carefully reviewed the College Board Course and Exam Description (CED) to ensure alignment with the expected knowledge for students. In some cases, this has involved removing a lesson or de-emphasizing certain parts, as well as adding new questions to lessons.
For instance, since normal probability plots are not tested on the AP Exam, we have removed our lesson on Assessing Normality. Instead, we have decided to split our old lesson on z-scores and transforming data into two separate days. This allows us to more time to cover everything in the CED, such as comparing z-scores across data sets.
Student Friendly Learning Targets
The Learning Targets are also getting a refresh. Here are our goals while we have been updating them:
Use more student friendly language
Never have more than three learning targets in a lesson
Use consistent language across learning targets
New Answer Keys!
Creating all new lessons means we needed to create all new answer keys. We used this opportunity to achieve the following goals:
Consistency in style and language from one answer key to the next
Increased margin notes (in red) for teachers to help inform the debrief of the activity
QuickNotes that use language consistent with the CED
Which Lessons Have Been Released?
We have been releasing one or two lessons for each unit as we have moved through the course. Here is what we have released so far:
When Can I Get All These New Lessons?
Over the summer, we will release the new refreshed lessons along with our new Stats Medic Assessment Platform launching on August 1. The Assessment Platform will have homework assignments, quizzes, and tests perfectly aligned to the new refreshed lessons.
You will be able to access the new lessons through a new pathway that will appear on the Lesson Plans homepage. Additionally, we plan to update our video subscription during next school year to align with these new lessons.
We will send email updates as soon as information becomes available!