Charity Stripe

Charity Stripe

Jun 19, 2012

CHARITY STRIPE: Gotta admit we didn't see this one coming. In a most unexpected collaboration, Mr. Sal Khan has teamed up with the chosen one himself, Mr. LeBron James, to provide a real-world lesson in probability. Students explore the chances of Mr. James going 10-10 from the free throw line (aka charity stripe). If you follow the NBA Playoffs, you have may have noted that while Mr. James shot 65% in the Eastern Conference finals, he has shown marked improvement, shooting 86% in the first three games of the championship series. This type of problem creation--appealing to the target user to produce a positive emotional response (clearly demonstrated by Leonard's awe of the Miami Heat superstar)-- is what Ms. Karishma Gurtu calls "affective learning." You can view her complete analysis of the Khan-Bron collabo in this Forbes article.

You don't need to be well-versed in the NBA playoffs to bring similar problems to your classroom. Here's all you need to do: 1) Find a pop culture icon revered by your students; 2) Identify a flaw in their superstardom that is anchored to a real-world measurable event. (Not everyone can shoot free throws. Maybe you can track the number of correctly conjugated verbs in tweets or declining album sales.); 3) Provide a curricular medium that allows students to solve the problem at their own pace and with their own methods. Just as Mr. Khan provides additional practice opportunities by looking into the free throw percentages of other NBA stars, you should also be able to reframe other problems in the context of similar celebs.

Here's an EdSurgent algebra example: How old will Justin Bieber be when he sells his one-billionth album? Send answers here. Correct answers will get an "EdSurge" sticker, if you share a mailing address!

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