Cool Stuff!

E was confused about marginal distribution on her quiz. She came in for a reassessment a couple of days ago…and was still confused, so her score didn’t change. I explained the concept to her again, and she seemed to get it.

We have homeroom at the end of the day. As soon as homeroom was over today, E came running into my classroom.

“Mrs. Dean!” she said. “I made a contingency table in homeroom!”

I said, “Great! Is it on the board in Mr. C’s room, then?”

“Yes – come see!” I was supposed to be going to a meeting, but I figured it could wait a minute or two, so I walked down to Mr. C’s room with her. As we walked, she continued: “Mr. C took a poll – somebody had this toy thing, and we were trying to decide whether it’s an evil fairy or an alien. So I said that we could break down the results by girls and boys. And I got the marginal distribution part and everything!”

We got to the classroom where, sure enough, she’d drawn this:

She pointed out that while there were some votes for alien, ALL of the girls voted for evil fairy. She also pointed out the marginal distribution that she’d written at the bottom. I asked her what percent of the people who voted for evil fairy were boys, and although she couldn’t calculate the percentage in her head, she knew that it was 2/12.

So I changed her score. Because she knows it, and I know she knows it. This wasn’t a scheduled reassessment that I generated for her; she saw an opportunity to use what she’d learned, and then she drew my attention to it because she knew it was a demonstration of her understanding. And that? Is awesome.

Edited because apparently writing a post quickly makes me leave verbs out of my sentences…sorry ’bout that.

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  • Jason Buell  On September 16, 2010 at 2:21 am

    You are correct. Awesome.

  • Elizabeth  On September 16, 2010 at 3:05 am

    What makes this especially awesome in my view is that your teaching generated enough initiative in her that curiosity carried her through to solving the problem on her own. Good for you — you should be proud of this moment.

    • Amanda Dean  On September 16, 2010 at 6:53 am

      Thanks, Elizabeth. She’s a pretty driven student naturally, but it is definitely a good feeling. :)

  • Ashli  On September 17, 2010 at 1:01 am

    That is all kinds of awesome. Thanks for sharing?

  • The Space Between the Numbers  On September 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm


  • Matt Townsley  On September 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Great use of on-the-fly assessment. Kudos to you and the student for taking advantage of this teachable moment.


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