What are the Chances?

I spend a lot of my time, as a one-to-one teacher, trying to find ways to incorporate technology into my math class that will truly enhance the learning of my students; not just to add tech to say I did. Over the past three years, I have been gradually adding more and more assignments/projects/assessments into my daily teaching that involves technology … but the one unit I have not found a connection to was “probability”. Now, that’s partly because I am a firm believer in getting my grade 6 students (ages 10 & 11) to roll the dice, flip the coins, spin the spinners, choose the cards, and pull the chips out of the bag, but also because I just couldn’t think of something innovative that would truly take the students to a different level of understanding.

With that in mind, I received a Smart Board for my classroom about half way through the school year this past year and have been teaching myself the tools and the ins-and-outs of its capabilities. Wow, this is a powerful tool for mathematics teachers … and I am loving it! And low and behold, the Smart Notebook Gallery has interactive tools which will fit right in with my belief as a teacher during the probability unit. You can flip coins, roll one or more dice at a time, spin spinners, and choose cards. So, I have now come up with an idea of how to bring technology into my probability unit that would truly enhance the curriculum – why not have the students work in pairs to create a fair game? The game would then be used on a “Probability Game Show”, in which the students themselves are the hosts and their peers are the contestants. Within this assignment, the students would be asked to design a fair game. The game would then need to be created as a Smart Notebook file, with interactive tools. The students would have the option of adding any other form of media to the file that would enhance their game (i.e. music, voice threads, graphics). The rules to their game must be clear and they would be “leading” the class for the day. During the game, the hosts would be collecting and recording┬áthe data within a prepared chart. Following the game, the hosts would need to present a digital tree diagram of their game proving that it was a fair game. This project would be used as the final assessment for the unit. And I imagine that my sixth grade students will LOVE this!

Link to the project outline below:

What are the Chances?