Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Probability activities

Probability is generally super easy for the kids, so I try and incorporate as many fun activities into the unit as I can. 

I did a couple of activities today. First, I gave each child a Dixie cup filled with about a teaspoon of Fruity Pebbles. They found the fraction probability of each color, and then decided which vocabulary word would match. 

Here's activity that a teammate lent me that I adore. It's a life-size probability chart! She glued together pieces of computer paper and then laminated them. The kids loved this. We sat around the chart in a circle (constantly reminding the kids to not scoot forward so that the whole circle can see!). The kids wrote events down on an index card. These could range from simple ones (I will eat dinner today), to ones that clearly weren't going to happen (I will find a unicorn name Rosebud and eat potatoes with it). One by one, the kids would come up, read their index card to the crowd, then find the probability that their card would lie. Most of the boys wrote silly events that were clearly impossible. But sometimes there would be events that the kids would want to discuss and argue over. Carlos wrote "Potatoes will fly." He immediately stood on the Impossible section. Kids raised their hand to answer. Answers ranged from suggesting catapulting a potato, to one boy saying that potatoes are often served on airplanes (so darn creative). This was an excellent way to reinforce the probability vocabulary as well as a visual reminder of the fractions, decimals, and percents that coincide with each term. 


What do you do for probability?




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