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Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Probability and Statistics

by Jerry Burkhart

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I absolutely loved reading this resource! It's slightly too hard for my 5th grade students to use in its entirety, but I think I will use some of the nine explorations on "Problem-Solving Days" after our Statistics Unit or I might use them outside of my math class (with my homeroom). (Ideally, math class would be designed around explorations like the ones posed in this book, but our district has adopted a Singapore Math curriculum that has daily lessons spelled out for us.) I don't think this would be all that appropriate for many 5th grade classes, however. I would recommend grades 6-8.

The author states that each exploration allows for students to naturally differentiate (take longer if needed, move past a level and onto the next part) and I see that to some degree. I don't want my lower students to struggle too long however, which is why this might work best in a Math Workshop or Guided Math environment (with teacher support for those who struggle OR as an Enrichment station for those ready for a challenge). Our classroom is extremely collaborative, so even my lowest math students would have access to students who excel at math as a resource. They know how to help rather than just give answers!

The way the book has been structured and the lessons written is outstanding. The author has a clear purpose for each section, includes additional information for the teacher, opportunities to make the lesson easier or harder, lots of extension opportunities, and focuses on our students "Noticing," "Wondering" and "Questioning" which means students are doing most of the thinking and learning rather than the teacher! This is NOT a worksheet book! It's a problem-solving book!

Additional Random Notes:
- The first 5 or 6 of the 9 explorations relate to curricular objectives in my math curriculum, whereas the rest seem to be at a higher level.
- There are some natural STEM or STEAM connections (Explorations 2 & 3), so I plan to use them as such (Scientific Method: Design an experiment and follow it through the steps, with a deeper analysis of the data thanks to this book).
- Some teachers may be concerned that the math is too difficult for them to teach because they might not be math content experts (thinking of elementary generalists), but the author provided excellent explanations and answers to questions that made me learn a TON from reading the book - I might have learned more reading this than in my Stats class in college! And it was MUCH more enjoyable of a read!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of "Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Probability and Statistics (Gr. 5-8)" from LibraryThing. This did not influence my review in any way, however. ( )
  psolarz | Jul 15, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Math is not my kids' strongest subject, but this book was very helpful. The tips offered were easily explained and implemented. I'm really glad I received this as an ERC. The writing wasn't boring (which is surprising for a math book lol!) and it really did help make math homework easier. ( )
  HotWolfie | Jul 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a Mathematics book for use in the classroom, or group setting, dealing with the area of Probability and Statistics. The focus though is less on the final procedural result and more on the conceptional journey.

It is officially geared towards Grades 5-8, but would be workable for older students as well - certainly as further supplementary material to work on.

Being aligned with Common Core there is a brief explanation of which Explorations align with which Common Core standards.

The Teacher's Guide, at the beginning of the book, is worth a read, and the 'Eight Motivation Strategies' are very helpful and not exclusive just to teaching Mathematics.

On page 15 there is a chart for 'Assessing Student Learning' that follows in the general philosophy of helping the student with the conceptional aspect - thinking it through - and not just rushing ahead for the answer.

There are 9 total Exploration modules with a nice variety of different mathematics concepts to be explored. Materials that will be needed are given; as well as prerequisite student knowledge, and expected material likely to be gleaned from the given module.

It should be noted - in line with conceptional mathematics - there can be more than one possible solution! Pattern recognition, or understanding actual, or potential, number relationships is important. Skills of observation, making connections with the data presented, predicating possible solutions, and then carrying out, and testing are all part of the journey.

It is certainly a different way of looking at Mathematics than what some may remember from their school days, but that shouldn't mean anybody should be afraid of this approach.

Encouragingly, the author provides suggestions for making the Explorations easier, or harder, depending on the level of the class. He also provides several 'Classroom Situation Examples' to give an insight into possible application of the material in the book. ( )
  MusicforMovies | May 4, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Advanced Common Core Math Explorations Probability and Statistics By Jerry Burkhart for grades 5-8 is a very well done guide for teachers to use for teaching probability and statistics to more advanced students. There are 9 different explorations for teachers to use that include plenty of conversation starters along with problems and there solutions. Very well done and tremendously useful. ( )
  LouCypher | Apr 25, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
'Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Probability and Statistics' provides a series of great lesson plans for middle grade math teachers, specifically those working with advanced students. That said, with a little adjustment the lessons could potentially be adapted to other students. The lessons certainly are challenging, but the book also suggests pairing the students to make them more manageable. The book includes an insightful 'Note to Teachers' addressing concerns about the level of difficulty. One nice feature is that each of the nine 'explorations' progressed in level of difficulty, providing the educator a way to assess student ability and frustration. Maybe not all students need to make it through each stage of each exploration for the lesson to be considered a success. The book includes all of the CCSS standards, handouts, solutions, and conversation prompts necessary for implementation. This is a really well organized resource and it seems like a ton of work went into its creation. There may be some work on the part of the teacher to feel comfortable using it in the classroom, but it may be worth it to encourage student problem-solving, critical thinking, and the application of math concepts to real-world scenarios. ( )
1 vote lyssjj | Apr 12, 2017 |
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