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Here is another probability lesson based on coin tosses

Subject:

Math  

Grades:

4, 5, 6  

Title – Coin Toss
By – Grace R. Callaway
Subject – Math
Grade Level – 4th-6th
E-Mail – callawayfm@cs.com
Objective: Students will be introduced to the concept of probability and statistics.

Materials Needed:
-A coin
-A tally sheet
-A pencil

The math worksheet that follows.

Introduction:

Introduce the lesson by showing the students your coin. Ask them the following question.
1. “If I toss this coin is more likely to land on heads or tails?” Allow students to give their opinion.

2. Now toss the coin. Record the results in the form of a tally mark on the board or overhead.

3. Have a volunteer come to the front of the class and ask the class, “What if ‘student one’ tosses the coin, will it land on heads or tails?”

4. Allow students to make predictions. Have “student one” toss the coin and record results. Repeat this three or four times. (results will vary)

5. Second question: “What if I just hold the coin between my hands and drop it?”

Repeat steps #2-4.

6. Third question: “What if I set the coin on the table and just slide it off?” (this is setting the students up for the concept of variables)

Repeat steps #2-4

Finally, pass out the worksheet and tell them that their assignment is to toss the coin 100 times, tally their results and be prepared to share their results the following day. Emphasize that they are to make their predictions before they conduct the experiment.

 

Worksheet:

FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS TO COMPLETE THIS MATH PROJECT:

A. Guess how many times a coin will land on heads if you toss it 100 times.
Write your guess here______.

B. Now try it! Toss your coin into the air 100 times. Keep a running tally sheet.

C. Estimate how many times it will land on heads if you repeat your experiment.
Write your estimate here______.

D. If there are 30 students in the class, estimate how many times the coins fell on heads for the entire class. Show your work. Write your guess here______.

**************************************************************

DAY 2

Allow students to record results on a class chart.
At this point the teacher may choose to extend the lesson by allowing small groups to graph estimates and/or actual results individually, in groups or as a class.
The teacher may also extend the lesson to lead into a scientific discussion about variables and consistency in an experiment.

* Just a note about the excitement that builds as students work this lesson…..Many students find ways to extend this lesson on their own by choosing to conduct a new experiment by changing variables, such as the type of toss, selecting a variety of coins, having the same individual drop the coin each time or selecting a different individual to drop the coin each time!

E-Mail Grace !

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