Project: Fair or Unfair
The Lesson Plan for this project can be found in my Week 12 Blog entry.
Students filled in a KWL chart listing things that they knew about:
· theoretical probability
· experimental probability
· fair vs unfair
Students also did an activity at the end that showed what they learned about experimental and theoretical probabilities when applied to a situation.
And in addition to what they learned, had to create a blog or a glog
to communicate their results. Student blogs and a glog can be found at the following sites.
Students in my class were first shown the blogs and glogs that I created to get an idea of the expected technological product for this project. They chose which one their group would create. We then went over the expectations and the rubric that I previously created. Each group then filled in the what I know and want to learn columns in their KWL charts. We then played the game described in the lesson plan and the groups made predictions about who would win each round. They noticed that the person assigned to C, or the one who gets a head and a tail, won more than the others. I explained to the class that what they need to do is to step back and look at the big picture – so we listed all the possible outcomes. We listed the four possible outcomes HH, TT, HT, and TH. We went over the difference between experimental probability and theoretical probability. From there, they had a good picture of why player C has an unfair advantage. This reinforces how hands on activities play a big part in teaching mathematics. I don’t think the teaching this concept would have gone as well if I gave them data to interpret. I had fun with this activity and so did the class. It was great to see them having fun and then focus their learning so that it was relevant to them at the time. We figured the probability percentages for both the experimental and theoretical. We had a good discussion about how the experimental probability will get closer and closer to the experimental probability if the experiment is done lots and lots of times.
As I reflect, I realize how many problems can arise with this sort of project as far as technology is concerned. Students had fun creating blogs and glogs, but were frustrated with the Internet speed. I did have the students fill out Permission to Publish forms that are available for LYSD, but was not sure if this was enough for the UAS course. However, their work is now published online. The permission slips allow documents and projects to be published on the World Wide Web and can include students’ first name, last name, photograph, and e-mail address. Pictures that were taken and published were ones that students took of their own work and pictures I took of them working. The glog required more work since it was not easy to learn how to use the tools for the students and for me, when I was first making a glog. Another noticeable problem came with the writing to communicate results. Students seemed to need more guidance than me just asking for them to compare the experimental and theoretical results. Students were happy with their results and wanted to show their work to the Language Arts teacher so other standards could be marked off.