Math = Love: Normal Distribution Cards

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Normal Distribution Cards

Several months ago, my statistics students were struggling A LOT with normal distribution.  Our textbook just didn't have enough practice problems.  And, they clearly needed more practice before moving on to the next section!

A quick google search led me to my friend's blog.  In retrospect, I should have just gone there first.  When it comes to teaching stats, @druinok is the best!

I quickly downloaded her Normal Distribution Cards and printed then on colored paper.  The cards are printed so one side has a question, and the other side has the answer to a different card.

Normal Distribution Cards In Action

Students begin by laying out all the cards with the answers facing up.  They pick any card to start with that they want to.  As a group, they used their calculators, dry erase boards, and normal distribution tables to solve the problem.  If the answer isn't on one of the other cards, they have done something wrong!

Once they find the card with the correct answer, they turn it over.  This is their new question to solve.  Once again, they have an answer bank to choose from upon finishing.


At first, my students were super frustrated.  These questions are hard!  Why does there have to be so many questions?  We're never going to finish!

But, with each question that they finished successfully, their confidence grew!  By the end of the fifty minute class period, they were laughing and enjoying themselves.  They all commented on how the class period had flown by.  And, these types of questions weren't that hard after all.

This was a new practice structure to me, and I want to modify it to use it for my algebra and trig classes next year.  #SummerToDoList

5 comments:

  1. Love this idea! I'm going to use it for a solving equations review this week.

    The circular nature of the activity reminded me of "I have / Who has?" I've always done those with each student having one card, but I'll change it this week so each group has a set of cards. I've used the website www.ihavewhohasgames.com to create the set of cards; it does the shuffling of questions and answers and gives a pdf ready to cut apart.

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    Replies
    1. How am I just now finding out about this site? I've always put off using I have/Who has because I thought I didn't have enough time to make my own cards. This site is awesome! I can't wait to use this next year! Thanks for sharing!

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    2. This is such a great idea. The first time I tried it, it totally failed - too many questions, too hard. But this year, I showed them your blog, and the story of your class and the frustration, and it totally worked, they had permission to be frustrated. We didn't quite get it done in time and I accidentally got the period times wrong and started packing them up 10 mins early. And instead of packing up they told me my mistake and that they were going to keep working! :-D So thanks!!

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    3. Ooops, I entered that comment in the replies instead of the new comments box. BTW, that website now links to a seemingly fraudulent website.

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  2. This is such a great idea. The first time I tried it, it totally failed - too many questions, too hard. But this year, I showed them your blog, and the story of your class and the frustration, and it totally worked, they had permission to be frustrated. We didn't quite get it done in time and I accidentally got the period times wrong and started packing them up 10 mins early. And instead of packing up they told me my mistake and that they were going to keep working! :-D So thanks!!

    ReplyDelete