Experimental Probability and Theoretical Probability - Is It Fair or Not?

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Probability is so frequently used in every-day life, yet so often under-explored in mathematics today. This product, which can be used as a stand-alone activity, is the second in a series of products which bring probability to life in upper elementary and middle school classrooms.

The first product, Experiments of Chance, gives students an introduction to experimental and theoretical probability by taking them on a journey in which they perform a series of six experiments and tabulate data to calculate experimental probability. The students then list all possible outcomes and calculate theoretical probability, and finally compare the two probabilities, making observations about their similarities, differences, and uses. The only materials required for Experiments of Chance are a die, three coins, the worksheets, and a good sense of curiosity.

This product, Is It Fair or Not?, takes students to the next level of critical thinking regarding experimental and theoretical probabilities by assessing the level of “fairness” of three different games. For each game, students pair up, read the instructions for the game, make predictions about whether the game is fair or not, play the game, then again evaluate the level of fairness of the game. After playing the games, the students revisit each of them, calculate theoretical probability, assess whether the games are truly fair or not, and suggest ways to alter the games that are not fair to make them fair. Additional critical-thinking worksheet questions and classroom discussion round out this two to three day activity. Detailed keys are provided for these worksheets.

In addition to meeting common core standards for probability, playing these games, doing the associated worksheets, and having rich teacher-guided discussion, help to solidify some correct notions that students have about “fairness”, dispel some often wild misconceptions that the students have been carrying around for years, and build a solid understanding for probability and fairness concepts.

Good luck in your use of Is It Fair or Not!

Related Products:

Feel free to check out a growing number of other products that use poetry, songs, games, worksheets, and assessments to make math fun and help students to learn a variety of common core math standards.

Click here to view Algebraic Equation Products
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Click here to view Geometry Products
Click here to view Integer and Order of Operations Products
Click here to view Probability Products
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Click here to view Riddle Card Products that Help Retain Math Essentials

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Terms of Use:

Copyright © Barry Schneiderman. This product is to be used by ONE teacher (the purchaser) for his or her classes only. Any reproduction of this material is limited to the purchaser for his or her classes. Beyond this usage, it may not be reproduced, republished, or copied in any way without written permission of the publisher. It may not be distributed to other teachers, a school department, a school, or a school district. This product may not be posted on any website, including but not limited to classroom websites, school websites, or district websites, without written permission of the publisher. Failure to follow the terms of usage represents a copyright violation per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). To receive written permission to copy or post this product beyond the terms of use, ask Barry Schneiderman a question on Teachers Pay Teachers.
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3 Days

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Experimental Probability and Theoretical Probability - Is
Experimental Probability and Theoretical Probability - Is
Experimental Probability and Theoretical Probability - Is
Experimental Probability and Theoretical Probability - Is
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