Friday, December 16, 2011

Snowman Probability

This activity is designed as a fun, seasonal data collection activity that introduces students to the probability of a spinner.  Although each piece of the snowman is equally likely to be spun, the actual game results are often quite different.

In this game, students spin to win all of the pieces to create the snowman.  Students may place a transparent spinner over the spinner template, or use a pencil and paper clip to create a spinner.

Before playing, ask students to estimate how many spins they think they will need to collect all of the pieces for their snowman.  Call on students to share both their number of spins and why they think that is a reasonable number.  Record these estimates for later discussion.

Give each student a copy of the game mat and insert the mat into a clear sheet protector.  Students may then use dry erase pens to draw the pieces as they collect them.

Have students use the Snowman Probability Recording Sheet to collect data on how many spins it takes to get all of the pieces.  Insert this sheet in a clear sheet protector for a renewable activity.  Be sure to collate the class data and analyze this larger sample to get an approximate number of spins required.

Download the Snowman Probability Game file which includes the game mat, spinner, directions and recording sheet.  

1 comment:

  1. I hope you're doing well. I've missed your postings and noticed that you haven't posted lately on Mathwire. Thinking of you. I adore your work.