Try, Try Again
Seventh Grade Poster Problem
Statistics and Probability
In this poster problem, students get experience with both theoretical and empirical probability for compound events, that is, situations where something happens more than once and they try to find the probability of a particular combination of results.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics:
Note: A probability is a number between zero and one (inclusive), so you can represent it as a fraction, a decimal, or a percent. Which should students use? At this stage, it really doesn’t matter.
But consider the following... For theoretical probabilities using dice, fractions are exact while the others are approximations. If a student always says that the probability of rolling a three is “point one six seven,” they might be missing the elegance of “one sixth.”
If students use fractions, they may have developed the reflex that they have to express every answer in lowest form. Not true! When they do two-dice sums, for example, the probability of rolling a 5 is 4/36. This is better than 1/9 because it contains useful information: there are four ways to get a five among the 36 possibilities.
For empirical probabilities—which are approximations by nature—decimals and percents make it easier to compare.
The Lesson Plan:
Strategic Education Research Partnership
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