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Problem Based Enhanced Language Learning

iteachELLs, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University

Teacher: Ms. DiFelice and Mrs. Valdes Grade/Subject: 12th grade English and Statistics

Title of Experience/Topic: Hurricanes

Problem (framing words + person + action + audience1):

Problem: What are the probabilities of all levels of hurricanes hitting the East-Coast state of your choice?
What preventative measures would you take in the case of a hurricane of the most probable level of
hitting your state?

Project: In groups of 4, pick a state that's been hit by a hurricane before. Conduct research on the history
of hurricanes in that state. While conducting your research, maintain notes on your research to later
include in your research paper. Research the hurricane statistics of the state, the aftermath of the state,
and possible preventative measures to take for when hurricanes hit. In the statistics, you will want to
keep in mind that you will find the probability of each category of hurricanes hitting that state.

Math: Now that you've found the statistics for each category of hurricanes in your state, what's the
probability of a hurricane the size of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Maria, and Lee all hitting that
state in a calendar year?

English: Using your research and statistics, in a 5-page paper, write about the history of the state you
chose in regard to hurricanes, the probability of the hurricane categories hitting, and what preventative
steps you would take depending on what level of hurricane is most probable to hit based on steps that
people have taken in the past.

Time Frame: (number of sessions and length of sessions)

3 weeks, 15 sessions at 55 minutes each

Content Standard(s):

English (Research Paper)-

Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a selfgenerated
question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources
on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches

1Buck Institute for Education (2011). Driving Question. Tubric 2.0. Retrieved from
effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience;
integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and
overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time
frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or
Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling
when writing.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as
inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually,
quantitatively) as well as in print in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly
and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
a. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on
that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting, graphics, and multimedia when useful
for comprehension.
b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions,
concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audiences knowledge of
the topic.
c. Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion,
and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and rhetorical techniques to manage the complexity of
the topic.
e. Establish and maintain a style and tone appropriate to the norms and conventions of the discipline in
which they are writing.
f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation
presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to
task, purpose, and audience. (Grade specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 13
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new
approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for
conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 13 up to and including grades 1112.)

Use technology, including the internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing
products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

Math (Statistics)
S-ID (Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data)
a. Summarize, represent, and interpret data on two categorical and quantitative variables.
b. Interpret linear models
HS.S-ID.C.9. Distinguish between correlation and causation.
S-IC (Making Inferences and Justifying Conclusions)
a. Understand and evaluate random processes underlying statistical experiments.
b. Making inferences and justify conclusions from sample surveys, experiments, and observational
HS.S-IC.A.1. Understand statistics as a process for making inferences to be made about population
parameters based on a random sample from that population.
HS.S-IC.A.2. Decide if a specified model is consistent with results from a given data-generating process,
e.g., using simulation.
For example, a model says a spinning coin will fall heads up with probability 0.5. Would a result of 5
tails in a row cause you to question the model?
HS.S-IC.B.3. Recognize the purposes of and differences among sample surveys, experiments, and
observational studies; explain how randomization relates to each.
HS.S-IC.B.6. Evaluate reports based on data.
Examples of research papers
Examples of histograms and hurricane statistics
S-CP (Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability)
a. Understand independence and conditional probability and use them to interpret data.
b. Use the rules of probability to compute probabilities of compound events in a uniform probability
HS.S-CP.A.1. Describe events as subsets of a sample space (the set of outcomes) using characteristics (or
categories) of the outcomes, or as unions, intersections, or complements of other events (or, and,
HS.S-CP.A.2. Understand that two events A and B are independent if the probability of A and B occurring
together is the product of their probabilities, and use this characterization to determine if they are
HS.S-CP.A.3. Understand the conditional probability of A given B as P(A and B)/P(B), and interpret
independence of A and B as saying that the conditional probability of A given B is the same as the
probability of A, and the conditional probability of B given A is the same as the probability of B.
HS.S-CP.A.4. Construct and interpret two-way frequency tables of data when two categories are associated
with each object being classified. Use the two-way table as a sample space to decide if events are
independent and to approximate conditional probabilities.
For example, collect data from a random sample of students in your school on their favorite subject
among math, science, and English. Estimate the probability that a randomly selected student from
your school will favor science given that the student is in tenth grade. Do the same for other subjects
and compare the results.
HS.S-CP.A.5. Recognize and explain the concepts of conditional probability and independence in everyday
For example, compare the chance of having lung cancer if you are a smoker with the chance of being
a smoker if you have lung cancer.
HS.S-CP.B.7. Apply the Addition Rule, P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B) - P(A and B), and interpret the answer in
terms of the model.
HS.S-CP.B.8. Apply the general Multiplication Rule in a uniform probability model, P(A and B) = P(A)P(B |
A) = P(B)P(A | B), and interpret the answer in terms of the model.
S-MD (Using Probability to Make Decisions)
a. Calculate expected values and use them to solve problems.
b. Use probability to evaluate outcomes of decisions.
HS.S-MD.B.6. Use probabilities to make fair decisions (e.g., drawing by lots, using a random number
MP (Mathematical Practices)
HS.MP.1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
HS.MP.2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
HS.MP.3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
HS.MP.4. Model with mathematics.
HS.MP.5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
HS.MP.6. Attend to precision.
HS.MP.7. Look for and make use of structure.
HS.MP.8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

ISTE Standards
ISTE-S.1: Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes
using technology.
a. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
c. Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues
d. Identify trends and forecast possibilities
ISTE-S.2: Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a
distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital
environments and media
b. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and
c. Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures
d. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
ISTE-S.3: Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
a. Plan strategies to guide inquiry
b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of
sources and media
c. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific
d. Process data and report results
ISTE-S.4: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and
make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
a. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation
b. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project
c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
d. Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions
ISTE-S.5: Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical
a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology
b. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and
c. Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
d. Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship
ISTE-S.6: Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
a. Understand and use technology systems
b. Select and use applications effectively and productively
c. Troubleshoot systems and applications
d. Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies
ISTE-T.1: Facilitation and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate
experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual
a. Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness
b. Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools
and resources
c. Promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students conceptual
understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes
d. Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and
others in face-to-face and virtual environments
ISTE-T.2: Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessments incorporating
contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge,
skills, and attitudes identified in the Standards.
a. Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to
promote student learning and creativity
b. Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their
individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals,
managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress
c. Customize and personalize learning activities to address students diverse learning styles, working
strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources
d. Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content
and technology standards, and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching
ISTE-T.3: Model Digital Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a
global and digital society.
a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new
technologies and situations
b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources
to support student success and innovation ISTE Standards Teachers International Society for
Technology in Education Effective teachers model and apply the ISTE Standards for Students
(StandardsS) as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and
improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues,
and the community. All teachers should meet the following standards and performance indicators.
c. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a
variety of digital age media and formats
d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate,
and use information resources to support research and learning
ISTE-T.4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and
exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.
a. Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology,
including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources
b. Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable
access to appropriate digital tools and resources
c. Promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of
technology and information
d. Develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and
students of other cultures using digital age communication and collaboration tools

ELP Standard(s):
Listening and Speaking:
Standard 1: The student will listen actively to the ideas of others in order to acquire new knowledge. Focus-
(B-9 and B-10)
Standard 2: The student will express orally his or her own thinking and ideas. Focus- (B-4 and B-8)
Standard 1: The student will demonstrate understanding of print concepts of the English language. Focus-
(B-4 and B-8)
Standard 3: The student will read with fluency and accuracy. Focus- (E-1)
Standard 2: The student will identify and apply conventions of standard English in his or her
communications. Focus- (B-2 and B-3)

Swbat...collaborate in groups and have group discussions using multimodal technologies as well as in
Swbat...apply APA research format using an APA example guide including all parts of APA format for at
least 5 academic sources via Google research and library research.
Swbat...watch historical videos that relate to the hurricanes that have happened in the past
Swbat...conduct independent and group research with the assisted technology of possible searches and
questions to google as well as assisted websites
Swbat...use different provided graphic organizers to organize their timeline, their delegation of roles, and
their paper structure

Swbat Use their basic knowledge of statistics to determine the probability of multiple hurricanes hitting a
specific state of their choosing
Swbat Explain the difference between independent and dependent events
Swbat Explain whether multiple hurricanes hitting the same state would be considered an independent or
dependent event
Swbat Interpret and make use of graphs and two-way frequency tables as part of their research on
hurricane statistics in their state
Swbat Evaluate surveys, experiments, and observational studies and draw conclusions on hurricane
Swbat Explain the differences between correlation and causation
Swbat Explain that statistics is a process for making inferences to be made about population parameters
based on a random sample from that population.
Swbat Determine if a model is consistent with the results of that model when compared to its theoretical

Swbat...conduct peer reviews where speaking, listening, and reading skills will be utilized in an interactive
Swbat...use paragraph structures with a topic sentence, reasoning, evidence, and concluding sentences
Swbat...split into heterogeneous groups
Swbat...find primary and secondary sources using multimodal technologies
Swbat...research supplemental information to answer the questions posed in the problem
Swbat...cite primary and secondary sources using given APA format

Swbat Determine if a model is consistent with the results of that model when compared to its theoretical
Swbat Question a model if the theoretical probability and expected probability arent aligned within a
margin of error
Swbat Explain what subsets, unions, intersections, and complements are
Swbat Describe subsets, unions, intersections, and complements using both the words (or, and,
not, etc.) and the symbols ( (subset of), (not a subset of), (subset of or equal to), (neither a subset
of nor equal to), (union), (intersection), (complement))
Swbat Evaluate the independence of events A and B using the general Multiplication Rule
Swbat Explain the outcomes of determining the independence between and events and whether or not your
calculations support your answer
Swbat Show that the probability of A is also the conditional probability of A
Swbat Show that the probability of B is also the conditional probability of B
Swbat Construct a two-frequency table
Swbat Evaluate conditional probability using a two-way frequency table
Swbat Infer the independence of two events using a two-way frequency table
Swbat Determine if everyday events are related (dependent or independent)
Swbat Explain when a model is considered uniform
Swbat Explain when the general Addition Rule can be applied
Swbat Apply the general Addition Rule to find the probability of two uniform and independent events
Swbat Explain when the general Multiplication Rule can be applied
Swbat Apply the general Multiplication Rule to find the probability of two uniform and independent events
Swbat Use probability to make fair decisions
Computers with internet access
Google documents
A note taking form of students choice

Graphing Calculator
Graphing Paper and Colored Pencils
Individual Whiteboards and Markers
Laptops with Internet Access

Vocabulary taught prior to the experience Vocabulary developed during lesson:


English- English-
Research APA Format
Hurricanes Primary sources
Disaster Secondary sources
Format Hurricane levels
Citation Relief support
Sources Title page
Reference page

Math Math
Independent Fair Permutations Combinations
Dependent Addition/Sum Multiplication Rule Addition Rule
Random Multiplication/Product Frequency Table Correlation
Event Surveys Causation Compound Events
Probability Experiments Independent Events Dependent Events
Uniform Inference Conditional Prob. Uniform Model
Linear Quantitative Sample Space Subsets
Model Observation Sets Random Event
Intersection Union Intersection of Sets

Academic Conversation:
What language function will students have the opportunity to practice? How will this language be explicitly
taught? How will this language be applied and practiced?
Students practice reading, writing, and speaking in the unit by working within small groups to collaborate
on a research paper. When we have discussion with the students on their findings, students have the
opportunity to practice speaking to other people outside of their group. They practice reading by
researching articles and pinpointing the key elements they need to form their paper. When they peer edit
papers, they practice reading strategies to help them effectively give constructive feedback. They also
practice writing by working within their groups to write a coherent and flowing research paper on the
information that they collected on their project. The papers should all sound like one voice, so determining
the best writing style that works for their group and is easiest for all students is key. When they give feedback
on the other groups papers, they need to be able to give legible comments that make sense and isnt

Establish the Problem:

How will prior knowledge be accessed? How will the problem be introduced to students? How will students
inquire about the problem (optional planning tool attached) How are students using language (reading,
writing, listening, and/or speaking) and how are they being supported?
We will have prior checkpoints introducing the problem to students by asking, What do you know about
hurricanes, What do you know about how hurricanes are different from other natural disasters, and
Have you ever experienced directly or indirectly a hurricane or a natural disaster?* (this question will be
posed but not required to be answered by any students if they do not want to. Some students will want to talk
while others will not. Students will be given information for emotional support via our schools counselor).
and that Students will write in their journals answering these questions and the instructor will read the
journals to ensure they spend time on the gaps of knowledge and less time on what the students know well.
Students will inquire about the problem by looking up past hurricanes. They can do this on their phones, on
their laptops, or another medium of their choice. During class, we will watch videos of different levels of
hurricanes, the effects of hurricanes, and the cause of hurricanes. We will listen and participate verbally to
the class discussion on the videos we watch in class. Student will maintain a form of note taking throughout
the establishment of the problem. Their notes can be written, typed, drawn, bulleted, etc. Guided notes will
be provided for students who need additional support.

Creating the Experience:

How will students work together to develop and present solutions? How are students using language
(reading, writing, listening, and/or speaking) and how are they being supported?
During class, students are given time to work within their groups on their researching, calculating, and
writing. Both teachers are tasked with patrolling the classroom and help model appropriate and high-level
conversation between groupmates. Prior to the unit, the teachers also help foster a sense of respectful
debate, where if a student might have a wrong answer, the other students will help encourage them to learn
from their mistakes, rather than make fun of them for being incorrect. Reading and writing are supported
and practiced within the drafting and researching phases of the unit, where they are writing out their papers
and reading articles and other students drafts of their paper. They will be expected to take peer edits into
consideration, and ask for clarification from said student if necessary. The teacher will also be able to help
monitor and model appropriate criticism and editing techniques, as well as model correct
sentence/mathematical structures. In the research papers, students demonstrate different ways of displaying
statistics and mathematical findings correctly in a paper, either through tables, graphs, or explicitly showing
the calculations through a program called MathType, which is taught by the mathematics teacher. Both
teachers will also have workshops set up so students can sit with the teacher and discuss their work with the
teacher, modeling professional (or more formal) interactions with adults.

When and how will you use formative and summative assessments to measure student progress and
learning (content and language)?
Formative Assessments:
2-3 times a week based on class flow
Exit tickets
Bellwork based on previous days lesson
Summative Assessments:
The students final summative assessment will be their cumulative research paper that incorporates
their statistical analysis from math class as well as their research from English.