What's The Chance?

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SWBAT design and conduct an experiment and determine probability and possible outcomes

Big Idea

How do you know what might happen?


5 minutes
  • POD

As students enter the room, they will have a seat, take out their Problem of the Day (POD) sheet and begin to work on the question on the SMARTboard. The POD allows students to use MP 3 continually based on the discussions we have about the problem each day.

The POD today will ask students to design an experiment based on a situation that does not involve the usual tools we have used so far in the unit. The activity today requires students to design and conduct an experiment. I want to use the POD to prepare the class for those decisions.

Lisa is trying to decide between a blue sweater and a brown sweater and a pair of jeans, a pair of khaki pants, and a pair of gray pants to wear to school. Design an experiment that will represent the possible outcomes and the probability that Lisa will choose the blue sweater and khaki pants if she randomly reaches in her closet and pulls out a sweater and a pair of pants.


30 minutes

The activity today will ask students to determine what kind of experiment they need to conduct, then conduct the experiment and report out on the results they find. Students will work at different centers established in the room. Each group will receive one of the “What’s the Chance” cards. Each card describes a situation and students will design an experiment and choose from the tools that are available to conduct the experiment. They will be able to choose from different spinners, number cubes, polyhedral dice, color tiles, centimeter cubes, coins, etc. If the chance card is one asking for simple probability, students may only need a spinner to conduct the experiment. Depending on the number of options in the chance card, students may need a polyhedral die and a number cube. Part of the design and discussion will be for the groups to decide what is needed. After determining how to conduct the experiment, groups will find the theoretical probability for their experiment. They need to create a display for the possible outcomes. When the experiments are finished, student groups will report out to the class about their card and the experiment they conducted. I want groups to share with the class how they decided to conduct their experiment. What did they have to consider? What tools would help them find the results? Were there other options? Did the experimental probability match the theoretical probability? Were there any surprises in the data? Was the experiment fair? Student groups should be prepared to justify their reasoning during the discussion.


5 minutes

To close class today I want to get some feedback from students about their understanding of the experiments they designed and conducted. I want students to be clear about finding probability, writing about it, and determining outcomes. If there are still uncertainties, we can discuss them in class or I can address them during intervention.

Can you create a list of outcomes using a tree diagram or an area model to represent any experiment you are given? Explain how you know? If you are unsure, tell what you need to help.