# Day 5 - Better than Yesterday

September 11, 2012

First Class

My morning class had a school function, but first I asked how they liked the activities in class. I gave them three options:

• I really like it
• I really don't like it
• I don't care one way or the other

The vast majority of students said they really liked it, so that made me feel better after all the push-back I was getting from my afternoon class yesterday.

Second Class

Today's engagement was significantly better than yesterday (it couldn't be worse, actually ðŸ™‚ ). For most of the block the entire class was engaged.

I started with the product of dice problem from yesterday, since only one group was successful. Today all groups were eventually successful. Here is some representative student work:

I have no idea why there's a 7 on the die.

I then gave them another product of dice problem:

Player 1 wins if the product is less than or equal to 18.

Player 2 wins if the product is greater than 18.

Decide whether this is a fair game and convince another group that you are correct.

If it is not fair, decide what number instead of 18 will make it fair.

The majority of groups were successful with this problem. As with yesterday, I gave absolutely no instructions about probability, sample spaces, etc.

At this point I said, "it looks like the majority of students are happy with their conclusion. Here's another problem for you." And I put up a relatively easy Sudoku problem. This problem produced total engagement, and spontaneous sharing among groups. Two events stand out for me regarding this problem:

• two groups realized they had made an error and erased their entire board and started over (not something I would expect given the class attitude from yesterday)
• I overheard one student say, "Now this is fun math."

If I'm on the ball with my planning, I'll start curricular content tomorrow; otherwise I'll have one more day of thinking problems.