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Tracey C.

MTH 612-001
23 April 2014

Probability Rich Task Paper:

Who Won?

In fifth grade, students are introduced to the seventh grade terms

theoretical and experimental in an implicit way. Virginia Standards of
Learning standard 5.14 states that students will make predictions and
determine the probability by constructing a sample space. Here, students are
expected to understand and apply their knowledge of sample space via
conducting an experiment. In this experiment, students are either proving,
disproving, or adding to their prediction by comparing their expected results
of how often each number set will be selected (the theoretical probability), to
the actual number of times each number set was selected (the experimental
probability). In the two-part handout, students are conducting the same
experiment twice; however, the number of conducted repeated trials differ
from five to ten. With the amount of repeated trials differing, students are
expected to notice that the size of the sample space directly affects the
outcome. As the number of trials increase, from five to ten, students should
observe the winning fraction, or number set 1-4 with the most values,
getting closer to the predicted fractional outcome. Subsequently, the
outcome for the fraction that is selected the least (5-6) should too be
observed getting closer to students predicted fraction, as the amount of
conducted repeated trials continue to increase.

When planning this lesson, specific language was embedded to help

students make meaningful real-world and content connections. At the
beginning of the lesson, a Hunger Games book scenario was used to highlight
the key term sample space and to introduce the basics of theoretical and
experimental probability. Here, students started with one die, representing
six tributes, and had to predict the outcome of each tribute being selected.
To see the actual outcome, a brief class experiment was conducted. Next,
the die then turned into a pair of dice and numbers sets 1-4 and 5-6 were
grouped, representing districts joining forces to eliminate certain opponents.
Students had to again predict and test their prediction, but this time, they
had to predict which district group would win after five dice rolls. Students
were told that the loosing team had to eat the berries and will be eliminated
from the completion. To better analyze and compare the outcome data,
students turned each fractional outcome into a decimal and percent. By
converting numbers into friendly numbers, students could more fluently make
Tracey C. Brown
MTH 612-001
23 April 2014
comparisons and identify such things as how much the winning team won by
and how closer their predictions were to the end result.

Throughout the lesson, students built upon their conceptual and

procedural knowledge. In the Before you Begin section, students ability to
identify and form

fraction probabilities was assessed. Here, students background knowledge

severed as their conceptual knowledge, where prerequisite abilities were
observed. In Part I and II of the experiment, the same two conjectures about
which number set is rolled the most and what patterns are noticed are asked.
Here, students procedural knowledge is honed in on, as the experiment
format is repeated- students continually practice how to find the probability
of each rolled number set and convert each value into a decimal and percent.
With Part I and II have different amounts of experimental trials that students
have to repeat, students conceptual knowledge increases. As the sample
space size increases, each number set outcome gets closer to the predicted,
expected outcomes. The specific conjecture, Do you notice any patterns?
and its accompanying teacher hint for students to reflect back to the Before
you Begin section response is key. Here, students are really pushed to go
beyond making predictions and determining probability to really note and
conceptually understand the sample space affects on the experimental

While conducting the experiment, students may have had some

misconceptions. In terms of sample space, students may not have made the
connection that increasing the sample space causes the outcome to be closer
to the predicted outcome. This could stem from students having rolled a 5-6
number set value more frequently than a 1-4 number set value and in turn,
the outcome fraction would not have been close to the predicted outcome at
all. Students may not understand why this outcome was so, as the 1-4
number set has the greater chance of be landed with each roll. To clarify, it
should be explain that this is an unlikely and rare event and like an
underdog team winning a basketball or sporting event game, it is still likely
or else the underdog team probability would not have accepted to play in
the game and the numbers probably would not being found on the dice.
Students too may have misconceptions about the bonus soccer scenario
(Who Won?: 4 Opportunity). If the two teams scores do not add up to the
whole (60/60, the maximum number of points), students have to take into
account the ties. If each time is given a point for the ties, the whole is reach
and subsequently, the fractional outcomes should be close to students
predicted outcomes.
Tracey C. Brown
MTH 612-001
23 April 2014

To enhance student learning and cater to students different learning

styles, technology was used throughout the lesson. In each group, students
used laptops to access the handout and recorded their responses
electronically. Typing work increased students typing abilities and allowed
writing to be clearly read, so that students wont spend time deciphering
unclear handwriting and loosing meaning of the task. As rolling tools, regular
dice, dice with yellow and blue dots, and an online spinner were provided.
These manipulatives served as different tactile, kinesthetic, auditory, and
visual aids, where students were able to select the learning tool that works
best for them. Here, students were forced to use a specific tool, as it my
class, causing no student to be frustrated and learning to be authentic due to
student choice.

Choosing a best-fit tool allowed students to feel more comfortable

exploring the given tasks. When using the online spinner, students can
clearly see each spinner land on an outcome and each trials outcome listed
in a graphic organizer. In turn, students could easily keep track of how many
trials they have completed and their experimental data. With either set of
dice, the dice with the numbers and colors, tactile, kinesthetic and auditory
learners are targeted. Students had the opportunity to hold the dice, shake
them in their hands, and roll them, in which the sound of the dice helped
some students keep track of how many trials they have completed.