Summer Statistics Institute Day 7 (Back in the Saddle Again)

I’m back to teaching again!!…and I’m sure my participants are oh so excited.

Our new unit is about understanding probability. I want my students, my teachers and their students to understand probability as so much more than the probability of a red marble coming out of a bag. I want them to understand probability as a way to make predictions and drive decisions. So we started here:


The focus of the discussion was on the idea of randomness and what should have happened. I kept emphasizing that their students will need to tackle the idea that what does happen and what should happen may not be the same thing. There’s a drastic difference the in the questions.

We started discussing numerical probability with this video:

We had a quick discussion about the “probability number line” and what different values meant.

Most of the lesson revolved around the following situation:

You and your partner have a bet. You are going to play a dice game and the winner receives $100,000,000. Each of you will roll one die. Next you will sum the two dice. If the sum is 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, player 1 wins. If the sum is 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11, player two wins. If 12 is rolled, then the round is a tie and will be rerolled.

I asked the question of whether the game is fair. We simulated the game and calculated the theoretical probabilities. There was a lot of interesting discussion. We have a foundation laid for dealing with experimental and theoretical probabilities. We’ll see how they take the lesson in the morning!


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