Off to the Races!
PROBABILITY is the chance of something happening. Recently, we played the game “4 Corners” where students have to respond to a question such as “What are the chances you will go out for dinner tonight?”. The students had to move to one of the 4 corners in our classroom labeled “Likely” “Unlikely” “Certain” and “Impossible” and be able to justify why they were there.
Playing probability games is a fun way of exploring this notion of “chance”. One recent game involved a little bit of ‘horse play’. Students worked in teams to race across the gameboard by rolling 2 dice. First, they had to choose which horse they were going to be (from horse number 2 up to horse number 12).
Students were only allowed to move their horse (1 space) if they or another team member rolled their horse’s number! Students noticed that horse numbers 6,7,8 always seemed to be winning. How come? Was it luck? Magic?
After a discussion about the chances of rolling each number of a die, students quickly realized that there are more chances of rolling a 6, 7 or 8 which explained why those horses were winning more often! It wasn’t magic, afterall. 🙂
Here is a video explaining how we play Skunk in class. Note: when we roll snake eyes, we play the version where students would lose all points for the current round and PAST rounds too.
Where do YOU see probability around you?