Saturday, December 10, 2011

How do you celebrate the holidays?

The following is an activity I included on a final exam I gave to preservice teachers at the end of the fall semester years ago. The activity began the class period before the final with the students filling out this Holiday Survey:

  1. During winter (on a typical day), are we likely to see you wearing a hat?
  2. During winter (on a typical day), are we likely to see you wearing a scarf?
  3. What is your favorite winter activity?
    • Skating
    • Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding
    • Cross-country Skiing
    • Sledding
    • None of the above
  4. Which is your favorite holiday television show?
    • Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
    • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
    • The Little Drummer Boy
    • Frosty the Snowman
    • None of the above
  5. Do you like winter or not?
  6. Which is your favorite holiday treat?
    • Sugar Cookies
    • Candy Canes
    • Pumpkin Pie
    • Fruit Cake
    • None of the above
  7. What is your favorite color for wrapping paper?
Their answers were used to create snowman glyphs based on the key (here) and the template shown below.
Here are some examples of how the students' snowman gyphs came out:

There were typically 24 students in the class and they used the 24 different glyphs (here) to answer this problem-set on the final.

You should use the data found in the glyphs to fill in the contingency table. In class, we explored two methods for determining independence. You should use both to determine if wearing a hat and wearing a scarf are independent events.
You should make a graph to represent your favorite holiday treat. You may use grid paper if you wish.

Disregarding wrapping paper color, how many distinct snowman glyphs are possible based on the key?

And, in case you were wondering, here's my snowman glyph.

Happy Holidays!

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