Class Openers

Class Opener – Day 10 – the Venn Menu

After a probability quiz on Friday, students were given a problem to tackle and finish for homework. The problem, Come Fly With Me (shared below), features many overlapping events which students need to process. Ideally, the problem is best summarized using a Venn diagram, though certainly other methods can be used to reason it out.

While I find that 9th graders have generally been exposed to Venn diagrams, they also have little conceptual understanindg of how these diagrams are used to process overlapping events. To generate discussion, this photo appeared on the board as students entered:

Venn Menu

If I buy a sandwich with bacon and sausage, where should I place my name? Should I place my name in the bacon only space, as I am getting bacon? How about sausage? And how do we feel about the placement of that mushroom circle?

Now it’s time to go over the “Come Fly With Me” problem, given below, and find out if the class absorbed anything from our brief Venn discussion.

View this document on Scribd

So, did our opening discussion help students use Venn Diagrams more effectively? Results are mixed, as some groups altered their assignment based on the discussion, while others kept the numbers as they were. But hopefully a few students were reminded of the power of these organizational tools.



By Bob Lochel

HS Math Teacher. Hatboro-Horsham School District, Horsham, PA.

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