Gamifying Stats

February and closing in on the end of term 2!

This is the time of year where I often realize I’m not as far as I feel I should be in the curriculum and then we go full throttle again. In Secondary 4, which is Grade 10, we are covering Statistics and Correlation. As this is my second year teaching the course, I’m getting much better and explaining percentile rank in a more interesting and meaningful way.

Of course, it’s good fun to throw in a few math games! Gamifying high school math is a great way just to mix things up. Today, we played Guess the Correlation after I taught the linear correlation coefficient. Basically, you look at a scatter plot and you have to guess the correlation factor between 0 and 1. If you’re too far off, you lose a life:

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The kids got pretty competitive and it was funny watching how aggressive the boys were trying to ace the high score. It’s not often you have students shouting over being good at math!

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Board Game Fun!

On Thursday, I managed to give out math tests for both the Grade 10s and Grade 11s. That felt pretty good, considering we are only 4 days away until the Christmas holidays and many teachers have stopped teaching new material at this point. I was happy this week was still fairly productive, despite the absences increasing in number.

Since the Grade 11s won the Oopsie Points challenge*, I bought a couple of frozen Delissio pizzas and we rented the kitchen for a period.

I brought Blokus with me and they learned how to play it. The game is for 4 players and you have to fit as many as your 21 tiles into the board. Each person takes their turn and can place a piece down, as long it touches pieces of their own colour, corner-to-corner. You cannot have two pieces of your own colour with two sides flush to each other.

Pretty simple to play and it’s a classic game that even my mother and 97-grandmother play with each other! It’s great for spatial reasoning, so it’s not a surprise that my two strongest math students really started picking up the strategy and knocking everyone out! They were really into and I was pretty happy I tricked them into doing math even during their down time … ha!

We had a great time overall!
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*I started the Oopsie Points challenge two years ago. I wanted students to challenge me if they spotted errors because students should feel comfortable challenging people of authority and not be complicit in whatever is being said. I found that prior to this challenge, a lot of my students would not be willing to point out even the simplest of addition errors.