Using Probability Computer Games S3
In this resource from the DfE Standards Unit, students confront and overcome common misconceptions about probability, count equally likely outcomes using diagrams, discuss relationships between theoretical probabilities, observed outcomes and sample sizes and calculate probabilities of dependent and independent events. Students will not need any prior knowledge about probability in order to use and analyse the games. This knowledge will be
developed through the activity and the discussion that follows it. (GCSE Grades A - F)
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Using Probability Computer Games
Posted by markbratley on 12th April 2011
Activity time: 1 hour for each “game” (10 mins demonstration / explanation, 30 minutes paired activity,…
Activity time: 1 hour for each “game” (10 mins demonstration / explanation, 30 minutes paired activity, 20 mins collate results as a group and group discussion).
Level / prior knowledge: level 5+/ a basic knowledge of the language of probability helps.
Subject / curriculum links / skills: probability (equally likely outcomes / listing outcomes / expectation).
Preparation time: N.B. ensure the flash games are available on your system. 5 mins printing recording sheets.
Extra resources: Plenty of coins and dice if you wish to complete activity without use of computers.
I used this resource with two year groups levels 3-5 after previously doing a lesson on probability lines. One lesson was required for each of the two games. It’s probably better to start with the coin race first as there are less outcomes for the pupils to contend with.
The lesson plans are good and the recording sheets help form a framework so the pupils are clear what is expected of them.
It is vital to ensure that the games are demonstrated on the IWB beforehand and less able pupils need to be encouraged to make a prediction. Pupils enjoyed the activities - with one group I used real coins because the computers were unavailable and this worked just as well (but was a little noisy).
The gathering of class results and subsequent discussion was probably the most valuable part of the lesson, I used a spreadsheet with a pie chart to show how the whole group results tended to the expected value for the two coin race.