## Delighted

A quick post here – I want to share something delightful that a few Geometry students did this morning. We had our last test of the winter term today and here is one of the last questions:

Prove that the points A (x, y), B ( x + 1, y + 3), C (x + 4, y + 5), and  D (x + 3, y + 2) are the vertices of the parallelogram ABCD. Prove this is true by one of the following two methods:

• By showing that one pair of opposite sides are congruent and parallel.
• By showing that both pairs of opposite sides are parallel to each other.

So, I was hoping that the majority of my students would take the quick and easy option of calculating slopes rather than messing with distances. I also hoped that the coordinates having variables in them would make them slow down, be careful, and remember a touch of algebra. I grade page by page and I have graded three of the papers with this problem on it. One student said ‘We can let x and y be 0 so the coordinates are (0,0), (1,3), (4,5), and (3,2)’ I love this thinking. She avoided the worry of dealing with the variables here. It’s a little slippery to determine just how clearly she was thinking here. She might have just been dodging a bullet. One student said ‘I will first transform this parallelogram by the vector <-x, -y> and then we will have the coordinates A’ (0,0), B’ (1,3), C’ (4,5), and D’ (3,2)’ Now, it is ABUNDANTLY clear that he knew exactly what he was doing. I’m so delighted by this that I felt I should share.

This and my great AP Stats classes today made for a pretty terrific day!

## It’s Not Just a Dream – The Reality of a Data Project

Right now my AP Calculus BC class is taking their final test of the term. I hope I am as happy grading those as I am thinking about my AP Statistics team right now.

## Dreaming of a Good Data Project

Our school hosted a ‘Maintain, Don’t Gain’ campaign through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Those of us who volunteered to be weighed in before and after were candidates for a raffle if we met the goal of no weight gain. I managed to lose 2.2 pounds and got lucky in the raffle by winning a FitBit Flex. I hooked it up on Jan 28 and I am thinking it will help me in AP Stats next week. My cherubs have a test this Thursday and then five more school days before our two-week break. We hilariously call it spring break even though it feels nothing like spring in these parts. Anyways, I am thinking of downloading all my data into an EXCEL sheet and challenging my AP Statistics scholars to dig into this data. As an added bonus, I know a number of them wear a FitBit as well, so we might be able to get a nice data set out of all of this. What I am wrestling with are the following questions/concerns:

• I do not know how sensitive FitBit is in its calorie counter. I have lost some weight in the past month (yay me!) and I do not know if that would interfere with looking for a connection between steps taken and calories burned.
• I am not sure how consistent FitBit is with correlating steps and distance. Are there any FitBit pros out there who can let me know about their experience with this? You can comment here or tweet me @mrdardy
• I want to ask some structured, guiding questions but I do not want to lock them in to my ideas of what might be interesting. I just do not know how focused they  will be or how sophisticated they are as statisticians at this point.
• Debating whether this is better as an individual project idea or a small group one. I am inclined to think that groups are better here. Any thoughts or advice about this?

So, I am shamelessly asking for help and wisdom here. I thank you in advance for any smart comments/tweets/emails/etc