Probable Probabilites…

This term, one of our workshops in SNC has been focusing on the statistics and probability strand. See below for some of the tasks that the ‘Barnhard’ maths group have been investigating.

Students worked independently or in partners to demonstrate their thinking and learning about the concept of probability.

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They were given this challenge:

“Students in a maths workshop want to create two spinners. These spinners need to have up to 10 equal parts. When they spin them, they will add the results”.

  1. Draw the design for your two spinners.
  2. Find all the possible outcomes when you spin them.
  3. Calculate the probability of each spinning result as a fraction, decimal and/or percent.
  4. If we spun the spinner ten times, what results would you expect? Create a graph to show the frequency you would expect of each possible outcome.
  5. If we spun the spinner 100 times, what results would you expect? Create a graph to show the frequency you would expect of each possible outcome.
  6. Use the nrich resource to test your spinner designs. Use this address: https://nrich.maths.org/6717  What are the experimental results from testing your spinner?

 

Once students had made their predictions, they use the software on the nrich website to test it. This offered a representation of 100 times and 1000 times. Many students made the connection between the likelihood of numbers coming up depended on

a) their choice of spinners and

b) how many ways they could be added e.g. a spinner with 1,2,3 and a spinner with 4,5,6,7,8 could only have one chance of getting 11, three chances of getting 9, etc.

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Some of the outcomes being assessed were:

I understand that probabilities range from 0 to 1  
I can use a data display that readers will understand to show my results.
I can predict all possible outcomes from a chance experiment.
I can read graphs and explain their meaning.
That I can record probability as a fraction, decimal and or percent.
I can compare my theoretical probability with experimental probability I have tested.  

 

I can organise my thinking with headings, sub-headings, tables, graphs, labels, and diagrams so readers will understand my data and investigation.

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