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SWBAT apply principles of probability to make and analyze decisions.

Big Idea

Probability will encourage your students to study hard for this partner test!

Set the Stage

5 minutes

To begin this review lesson I discuss the test format with my students: that they will work in randomly assigned teams  to complete simulations and real-world problems.  I explain that because almost all of the work for this unit has been done in partners the exam will follow the same format. 

Some students think this means the exam will be much easier, or that they don't need to study but I encourage them to prepare as well as they can citing probability to support me.  I say that if even half the students in class takes the attitude that they don't need to study then each student has an almost even chance of drawing a partner who has not studied (the "almost" depends on whether the class has an even number of students and whether or not the student in question is one who has studied.)

Put It Into Action

40 minutes

As a change from providing set of practice questions, for this unit I've created a summary of topics for students to review with.  I tell them that they may work with the partner of their choice and to discuss the review topics thoroughly in preparation for the exam tomorrow as well as participating in a whole-class discussion today.

I distribute the Review Topics handout, ask if there are any questions, then tell them they have about 30 minutes to review.  (MP1, MP3, MP6)  While they're working I walk around offering encouragement and redirection as needed.  Most of my students should be pretty comfortable with this material by now but I anticipate that there will be a few who still don't quite understand what they need to do to "explain".  For those students I suggest that they begin by telling their partner how to use a coin to generate random numbers, then write down their explanation.  Starting with this fairly straightforward topic builds student confidence so they can tackle the tougher topics.  After about 30 minutes or when everyone is ready, I begin the class review by randomly selecting students to share their responses to the topic questions.  The remaining students critique these responses to help each other strengthen both language and understanding.  (MP3)

Wrap It Up

5 minutes

I close this lesson by asking my students to write a positive facebook post to themselves about their probability of acing test using their fantastic understanding of probability and decision-making! (MP6) This usually brings several chuckles but it also reinforces their thinking about probability as a tool for making decisions as I explain further in my video.  The challenge to specifically address their probability of doing well on the test engages students in reflecting about probability and its applications.