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This is a probability lesson with spinners





Title – Probability
By – Katy
Primary Subject – Math
Grade Level – 3

Textbook Chapter:

    Probability (relates to Ch.16 Harcourt Math Textbook)


      SDAP 1.0 Students conduct simple probability experiments by determining the number of possible outcomes and make simple predictions.

      SDAP 1.1 Identify whether common events are certain, likely, unlikely, or improbable.

      SDAP 1.2 Record the possible outcomes for a simple event and systematically keep track of the outcomes when the event is repeated my times.

      SDAP 1.3 Summarize and display the results of probability experiments in a clear and organized way.
    MR 2.0 Students use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions.

Lesson Objectives:

  • To identify ad predict events as certain, impossible, likely, or unlikely.
  • To record all possible outcomes of experiments.
  • To record and display results and make predictions from experiments.

Grouping of students: Groups of 2


    10 spinners boards with clear backgrounds, blue & yellow construction paper, regular paper or worksheet created by teacher.


      Cut out:

      10 – 4×4 inches of blue construction squares

      10 – 4×4 inches of yellow construction squares

      10 – 2×2 inches of yellow construction paper squares

      10 – 2×2 inches of blue construction paper squares
Glue one 2×2 yellow onto the 4×4 blue.
It should look like one big blue square is 1/4 covered by the a little yellow square.

Do the same for the 2×2 blue squares onto the 4×4 yellows.
Basically, the big square should have 3 little ones of one color and 1 of a different color to form one big 4×4 square.
      Create 2 worksheets for each student to complete:
      Draw a square, instruct students to color the square to look like the spinner board they are working with.

      Allow them room to predict how many times the spinner will land on yellow, on blue, if they spinned it 10 times.
Yellow ________ Blue ________
I think this because _________________________________.
What actually happened
Yellow _____________ Blue __________

    Do the same for the other 4×4 square, therefore the information above should be repeated using a different square spinner board in the bottom half worksheet.


    Pre-test the lesson to see what students know or don’t know. Test their vocabulary knowledge: certain, likely, unlikely, impossible and equally likely. Tap into their background knowledge to see how much they actually know about probability. Preferably use a graphic organizer to help them retain vocabulary. For example, our district can use one of the Thinking Maps and modify it to help organize the vocabularies. Since I have many ESLs in my class, I try to use synonyms to help them understand the terms. As I go over the terms, I write notes on the board to help them remember. Explain the process of experiment to students. Students should be in groups of two.


    With their partner, students will communicate and make a prediction on how likely the spinner will land on blue and yellow. They should have a reasoning. A reasoning can be as simple as “because it has more blue”. Students will run the experiment; each student will get a chance to spin five times. They need to keep track using tally marks and analyze. Students are to share their findings with their peers in the same table group. Teacher will walk around and help the ones who may need guidance. After the experiment, there will be a class discussion on findings and comparison to their predictions. Students are to repeat the process over again with a DIFFERENT color 4 x 4 square and spinboard.


    After the experiment and discussion, draw a square next to all the vocabulary words on the board. Next to the word certain, ask students to help you draw a square that is CERTAIN to land on yellow (the square will be fully colored yellow). LIKELY to land on yellow (a square with 1/4 covered in blue and 3/4 in yellow). UNLIKELY to land on yellow ( a square with 3/4 covered in blue and 1/4 in yellow. IMPOSSIBLE to land on yellow (a square that’s colored all blue). EQUALLY LIKELY CHANCE of landing on yellow or blue (half/half). Students will transfer the information onto their second worksheet. This can be pre-made for them and simply have them color it in or have them copy the vocabulary, synonym, and drawing onto the sheet. Pre-made worksheets created by the teacher tend to be a lot more user friendly.


    This is a hands-on activity to introduce students to a probability lesson or a great overview for CAT 6 prep before actually getting to the lesson. Please note that blue/yellow construction paper can easily be substituted with any colors that are convenient.

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