Probability with a Difference

28 06 2013

This week Year 10 were studying Probability. I created 11 workstations consisting of a variety of experiments, worksheets and activities. There was also a booklet guiding the notes to be taken during the lessons.

The students were engaged and learnt with enthusiasm and understanding.

The workstations included

  • using the Papertoss app ten times to rate one’s accuracy in getting the paper into the bin. The results were tabulated in an Excel worksheet and discussion ensued about the average result or who would be chosen to represent the class in a competition.
  • tossing a die 50 times and recording how many 1’s, 2’s to 6’s were thrown. I secretly pulled several students aside and quietly gave them a die with more than 6 sides. I told them they would be accused of cheating and that they were to refute that they had tossed their die 50 times. These results were also recorded in an Excel Spreadsheet. Sure enough, those with die of more sides were accused of cheating. When they said they had tossed their die 50 times a student said “well they had a die with more sides, then”
  • a quiz which they collected from me when they had completed all the other stations. They knew this was the last station to go to.
  • a little snaplock bag containing a level tablespoon of smarties scooped from a large pack. As they received their pack they had to tell me the quantity of each colour they had received. This was also tabulated in an Excel spreadsheet and then we discussed the variation of the colour quantities. This also allowed us to talk about quality control and what could have been an acceptable variation on the number of smarties in each bag.
  • some worksheets from Hotmaths. One had several tasks analysing the result of tossing 2 dice 50 times. To achieve this I connected my ipad to the digital projector and used the DiceRoller app to roll 2 dice 50 times. The students needed to sum the numbers on each die and record this. Following this we looked at why certain combinations were more frequent and calculated the expected frequency of each outcome and compared this with our results. This gave an opportunity to revise lattice diagrams and listing outcomes.

The students seemed to enjoy the topic whilst they learnt.

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