Trying to find math inside everything else

No Sane Person…

So today I did Dan Meyer’s Red Dot lesson, which is still one of my favorites for that great reveal. In his post, he writes:

It was only important to me that the students experience a hand which they absolutely should fold, a hand which a sane person would only hold onto if he could see his opponent’s cards.

If I’ve had one problem with this lesson in the past few years, it’s that, well…teenagers are not sane. Today I had a total of 6 boys (and it’s always boys) who would definitely bet on that last hand, even though everyone else agreed they shouldn’t. I even changed the hand to make it one pair, and still they would bet. Maybe I should make it high card only when I try it next time. I’m not sure if even then that will deter them.

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Comments on: "No Sane Person…" (4)

  1. What grade level do you teach? I know there’s some research I’ve read about risk taking and the adolescent brain. I know this situation isn’t “risky” in the way most people would think, but it might explain why you have these students who will go for it despite all evidence pointing to the contrary.

    • 9th grade. And that’s certainly true – I actually remember reading recently that most players in the World Series of Poker skew young because younger people take more risks.

      The fact that their money is not actually on the line in the classroom probably also contributes.

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