Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Online Resource: Probability Spinners

Math Playground:  Spinner
This online site allows users to customize a spinner by colors, then spin for trials.  There is a graph option to display the results by color as they are generated.  This is an effective online resource for data collection.  Students may easily generate data from larger trials than through the use of a real spinner.  

Many teachers use this kind of online generator after student's initial experience with classroom spinners and discussion of the resulting data from this small trial.  Students generate hypotheses which may be easily investigated using this online resource to capture more data.  A resulting data analysis confirms or disputes the hypotheses and should include a discussion of the use of online generators and randomness.

Note:  This site allows the user to customize the spinner by adding labels to each section (e.g. numbers, names, etc.) and to select how many different outcomes there will be.

Check out Math Playground's Probability Spinner.

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