## Sunday, March 22, 2009

### Spinner Games and Probability

If the above picture was a spinner game, and you were given the choice of "two scoring options" to choose (you would get a point if you landed on a number that met the requirements of either of your two options chosen), what would you choose?

A. a prime number
B. an odd number
C. a multiple of 5
D. an even number

Many students would look at choice A, and state that it has a 4:8 or 50% probability, as 4 of the 8 numbers are prime.

B would have a 5:8 or 62.5% probability, as there are 5 odd numbers

C would have a 4:8 or 50% probability, as there are 4 multiples of 5

D would have a 3:8 or 37.5% probability, as there are 3 even numbers

Man students would just look for the highest probabilities. Perhaps, they would choose A and B, but if you study those choices closely, you may see that several sections would be possible "losers". So, what two options would you choose?

## Sunday, March 8, 2009

### Hints for Taking the FCAT Test!

1. Your teachers, principal, family, friends, and classmates have faith in you!

2. You have all the tools you need in order to be successful. I've taught a bunch of kids, and you guys have the goods!

3. Do not stress out. This is a time to show off.

4. If a question is too difficult, skip it! It is far better to miss one item than the 23 items that come after it :-}

5. Read each question carefully. Be sure to read with "a voice" that you can hear in your head. Rereading with a voice has helped me solve so many problems over the years.

6. Make some notes to back up your mental math strategies. If you show some work, your chances of being correct go up a bunch. I have seen that most errors occur through rushed simple operations like adding or subtracting. So, don not rush (you know who I am talking to ;-} )However, please remember that you do not have time to "write a book" about each problem (again, you know who I am talking to ;-} ) .

7. Look at your final answer and see if it makes sense. Elephants do not weight 17 pounds!

PEACE!