Using an iPod for probability experiments

iPod image

Screenshot from iChoose

Year 6/7 students continue to explore probability in our maths classes, today with iPod touches. “iChoose” is a free application, with a number of options for random choice results – coin toss, dice, cards, girl/boy and more. ┬áStudents did ┬átimed trials to collect data (both coin tosses and dice throws) and collated class results. Each student used the iPod calculator to work out their percentages of each result and then compared individual data with class data to show that the greater the number of trials, the closer to the theoretical probability the experimental data gets.

We also used real dice and coins (swapping over so all students had a turn at both the real and virtual) and compared the results. At the end of the lesson, students completed an ‘exit slip’, with three important things that they have learnt about probability. Most students were able to complete this successfully, writing how to calculate probability, how all outcomes add to 100% and about experimental and theoretical probability. Even students with greater learning needs were able to state that they had learnt how to work out percentage and how to tally results. It is pleasing when you can engage students with a wide range of learning abilities in one class and hear that each of them has benefited from the lesson.

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