Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Changing my warm-up

Today for a lark, I asked students which had the better odds
1. Winning the lottery or
2. Giving birth to quintuplets.
This on question lead students on to the internet to find out what quintuplets are and the odds.  They discovered the odds of winning a lottery depended on the type of lottery and could range from 1/14million to 1/175 million.  The offs of giving birth to quintuplets was found to be only 1/800,000.  This actually opened up a discussion on the octomom - the lady who had 6 kids and gave birth to 8 more and the Dion quintuplets. 
The other question that opened up a fair bit of discussion was simply that if you worked 28 hours in a week and earned $195 would you be earning a good wage.
Points included during the discussion:
1. Minimum wage is $7.25 so it is below minimum wage.
2. It would be a bad wage for someone under 16.
3.  If you had no money coming in, something was better than nothing.
It isn't often I get this type of discussion going and it was great.  Many of my students are classified ELL (English Language Learners) so this type of discussion really helps them improve their English.