# Maths - Year Six probability observation

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by rustybug, Feb 3, 2012.

1. ### rustybug

You could get them to make spinners (cereal boxes seem to be the best card, ime), either the sort that is a regular polygon with a toothpick through the middle (easiest) or the round sort with a pointer and a split pin (will need a trip to Ryman!) (and fiddly to make because they will probably need your individual attention to make sure the pointers spin smoothly).
They can predict how many times it should be green (or whatever), and then spin it lots of times to see how many times it is green. While they are doing that you will be able to circulate and be observed asking good questions.
Or the horse race game is always fun.
Really it's not about the activity, it's about how you deliver it and whether you tick enough boxes (VAK, feedback/AfL, high expectations, demonstrable learning in every child, good use of time, real-world connections, keep on top of behaviour, differentiation, a good review / plenary; is a good shopping list...)
Good luck!

2. ### brookes

The key is to ensure that all of the kids make really good progress in their learning. So, we can't suggest practical, engaging, rich activities until we know what your intended learning outcomes are (or whatever language you use in your school).
I generally do this in 3 stages. First, I decide what the objective is and describe what it'd look like. Then I picture the most able in the class and decide if they need something more in order to make real progress that lesson. Then I think of the lowest end and picture what real progress would look like for them. Sometimes I don't need anything extra, but sometimes I do.
Once you know what you want the kids to achieve you can figure out you're going to get them there.

3. ### s1x

This is everything that is wrong with the current education system right here.

IMO teach them normally and see if your employer believes you can teach.

4. ### rustybug

Those are very normal lessons. The activities are perfectly normal (have done both many times without being observed!!) and so is the list of things to include.
Not sure what about my post (trying to give a starting point to the OP) is "everything that is wrong with the current education system"!!

5. ### pittskeFLNew commenter

Hi
What's the 'horse race game'?

6. ### rustybug

Two dice. Add the scores. Each time you get a total of 2, horse number 2 takes one step forward, etc. Chn choose their winning horse first (offer number 1 as well - some will take it!).
Usually 5, 6, 7, or 8 will win because they have the highest probability of coming up.

7. ### AnonymousNew commenter

I remember hearing somewhere (More or less on Radio 4) that if you are playing Monopoly, you should stick property on every 7th space because as people often go back to the start, you have more chance of people landing on your property.
I haven't played Monopoly for years - do you have 2 dice?

8. ### florapost

yep - throw a double to get out of jail

statistically buy the orange set, they offer the best value for money and are waiting for jail breakers to roll 6 or 8! you can swear when the roll 7!
back them up with the 4 railways and you are quids in!

mucho recommendo
call them cars if you prefer, or camels, i always give them suitable names, often linked to the class too!

11. ### brookes

I'm sure the lesson observation has long since been done (and it's a shame the OP didn't contribute further). However, I'd like to add that I think the concepts in the horse racing game (relative frequency, sample space diagrams etc) are perhaps not quite appropriate for year 6. I'd rather they have a good understanding of the probability scale, unequally-likely outcomes and using numbers to describe probability.
What do others think? Am I holding year 6s back?

12. ### AnonymousNew commenter

I think the concept is - when number 6,7 or 8 keep winning is to ask why? It should lead to an answer that there are many ways of making these numbers compared to 2.
Personally, I think the words likely, impossible, certain etc are too easy. I've seen a probability question on a GCSE - what is the chance of rolling a 7 with a 1-6 dice? Pick a word.

13. ### brookes

I've found that students are happy with the terms Impossible, Even Chance and Certain, but less secure that there's a scale of probability and that Unlikely and Likely are not just occupying two further places. (Have I explained that clearly? It's as though the scale has just 5 set places).
Further more, given two outcomes they will always assume each is equally likely. I'd like them to have that (really rather tricky) concept of probability secure in a qualatative manner.

14. ### AnonymousNew commenter

Really!! I just find that really amazing - it might rain one day but there is more chance of it raining when the clouds look damp than if you have white clouds.
Still - I remember someone saying you have a 50% chance of winning the lottery. You can win it or not win it.
I do sometimes find the way children (and adults) think quite interesting.

15. ### AnonymousNew commenter

Maybe I just assume people get stuff too easily. I introduce probability with cards. 6 cards - discuss chances of an even number, number more than 4 etc.
Mind you, I had a fun discussion with a tutee last week about why you multiply probabilities if both events need to happen, but add if either of them can happen.
Ended up with cards again.

16. ### florapost

so wasn't concentrating - there are no properties 7 along from 'go' or 'jail' - those squares are 'chance' and 'community chest' - you do have 7 along from 'free parking' - that's coventry st, but there's no reason for anyone to start more from there than from any other square - and 7 along form 'go to jail' is irrelevant as no one can start from there
as hammie pointed out, it's best to bet on 6's and 8's being thrown