Reflection: Routines and Procedures Coin Toss - Section 1: Exploration of Probability


I knew this was going to be an active lesson with the possibility of coins going everywhere so I told my students a story about how I have had this bag of coins for ten years and have not lost one yet.  It was also a former student who had donated the 100 pennies, from his allowance, to the class.  This sparked a number of comments about that is only $1.00 so I quietly commented "But was the value of a dollar the same 10 years ago when he donated it?"  I love doing this because it invites students to question their thinking.

I showed them three ways to toss the coin: 1) putting on your arm and flinging your arm down, 2) tossing it with your hand a little way into the air and 3) flicking it with your thumb.  I also was able to talk about the term variable (MP6) and how each person may have a different way of tossing the coin and possibly affecting the outcome of the mathematical experiment. 

What I didn't tell them was when I first did this lesson I did not give instructions on how to toss the coin and ended up finding them all over the place, and not having quite a few of them returned.  Linking the mathematical tool (penny) to the responsibility of returning it works better than saying "You must return the penny to me at the end of the lesson." 

  Routines and Procedures: Classroom Management Tip
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Coin Toss

Unit 7: Probability
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: Students will be able to discover and explore probability using a coin toss.

Big Idea: Uncertain of probability? Start with a coin toss!

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