I am busy planning for my Year 9 class tomorrow. I am pondering: “How best to introduce Probability?”
I want to know what the students already know, so I will attempt doing a concept map. I don’t expect it to turn out as sophisticated as Kate’s. Her Probability concept map from her excellent blog – Optimizing Kinetic Energy – is shown below.
I really like the well written and set out learning objectives by the UK Department of Education. As well you can click links to excellent PDF files to exemplify these standards.
The first Year 7 objective is: “use vocabulary and ideas of probability, drawing on experience“. It will be interesting to see what mathematical vocabulary my students will use while brainstorming the concept map!
The second Year 7 objective is: “understand and use the probability scale from 0 to 1; find and justify probabilities based on equally likely outcomes in simple contexts; identify all the possible mutually exclusive outcomes of a single event“. Hopefully this will just be revision, but I will play that by ear and adjust by learning sequence accordingly.
I am going to randomly split the class into groups of 3 or 4 using Team Maker. Will the students want to be Animals, Birds of Prey or Dinosaurs? The task I will set them is adapted from: “How large is Pennsylvania?”
I have adapted this lesson to where my students live and so it is titled “HOW LARGE IS VICTORIA”
To round off the lesson we will have groups report their findings. If their is time a game too, or a journal entry.
I also want to explore the issue of Problem Gambling, but that will have to wait until another lesson.
How do you teach the first lesson on probability to your classes?