Probability

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Ag_math_probability

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Investigate and perform probability tests (experiments) and record results (Data) of outcomes in a chance situation
Grades K-4

Introduction
Children learn early about likely outcome of events as they listen to others talk.  They might hear others discuss the likelihood of a certain type of weather, what time the postman will come, or odds on favorite sports teams.  The teacher helps the student become aware of basic probability concepts through the conduct of experiments using the roll of dice, spinners, or other number selection aids to determine event outcome likelihoods.  This activity can also supplement and reinforce number and number operation skills.

Preparation
The teacher should have enough coins or counters available for student use.  Student pairing is suggested. Math journals may also be required in which to record the experiment data.

Procedure
The teacher should begin the activity with discussion about probability words that have special meaning (e.g., chance, likely, unlikely, prediction, more likely, less likely, frequency, results, data).

The teacher will demonstrate the 10 coin flip experiment while students record event outcomes.

The teacher should show students how to graph the experiment outcome using GollyGee Blocks.

The teacher and students should discuss student thoughts, predictions, and ideas about the experiment results and draw conclusions about the likelihood of coins landing heads or tails.

Students match with a buddy to perform the experiment of flipping a coin 20 times.

Students print out their experimental data.

The teacher should make this a FUN event.  The experiment can be varied by using the throw of dice, or spinning of a number wheel.

Evaluation
Observation is the best evaluation tool.  Printouts may also be evaluated for understanding of concepts.  The rest of this is pure fun and learning through doing!

Extensions
A variety of other yes/no data collecting experiments can be displayed using GollyGee Blocks.

Build a basic castle scene.  Ask simple yes and no questions on a subject such as movies the students might have seen (e.g., Shrek, Monsters, Inc., Harry Potter) and add a princess for yes and a knight for no. Chart the results.

Display student experimental data and graphs on school bulletin boards.

Share with your class, OR another class at your grade level the student results (explained BY the children) and describe their results and recordings.


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