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Q&A #667


Teaching probability

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From: Claudia (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Oct 19, 1998 at 20:03:18
Subject: Re: Teaching probability

Since probability has to be a number between zero and one inclusive, students 
need to realize that their answers are going to be fractions or decimals.

MarieLouise had some great suggestions. If you cannot use cards, then get 
your hands on a set of spinners (Dale Seymour catalogue). Get the overhead 
kind and use coffee filters. You can have the students create designs and 
then compute the experimental probability and compare it to the theoretical 
one. For example, divide the circular spinner into 4 equal sections. Have 
pairs of students record where 25 spins land. Calculate the probability for 
each group and then compare those with the class. The class should be closer 
to the actual probability of say landing on one of the colors (1/4).

If spinners are not available, use skittles or m&m's. Mix up various numbers 
of colors! Then they get to eat the candy.

 -Claudia, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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