First Day of Class Activity

How long can you hold out?

Adapted from AP Stats listserve submitted by Rex Boggs.


Materials: One die


Rules: All students stand. Someone throws a die twice and totals the numbers. This is everybody's current score. Those that are happy with that score sit down, they have finished this round. They record their score.

For the other, the die is rolled again. Those still standing get to add the number to their total, unless it is a 3. If is is a 3, the game is over and all those standing receive 0 for that round.

Keep throwing the die until a 3 comes up ( so those still standing get a score of 0) or everyone has sat down and recorded their score for that round.

A game consists of 5 rounds.

At the end of the game, the students add their 5 scores to get their total. Meanwhile the teacher is drawing the stem of a stem-and-leaf plot on the board, with stems from 0 to 9 (usually enough). As the students find their total they come to the board and write it on the stem-and-leaf plot.

There are several ways to make comparison within the class. Try comparing the boys score to the girls score.

Give the students a chance to discuss the outcome.

Now play a second game of 5 rounds. Add these totals to the left side of the stem, i.e. make a back-to-back stemplot.

Discussion about the shape, location, spread of the two distributions, outliers, etc.