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# EDMA310/360 Mathematics unit planner

Heidi Gabrys

Unit Overview
Unit title: Whats the chances?
Content maths area: Probability - Chance
Learning Focus (ideas extrapolated from AusVELS): Statistics and Probability :
Chance
Students interpret and compare a variety of data displays, including displays for two
categorical variables. They analyse and evaluate data from secondary sources. Students
compare observed and expected frequencies of events, including those where outcomes of
trials are generated with the use of digital technology. They specify, list and communicate
probabilities of events using simple ratios, fractions, decimals and percentages.
Rationale:
Probability is in our everyday lives, from predicting the weather forecast to which horse will
win the Melbourne cup this year. Chance needs to be explored, with the concept of
randomness examined along with sample sizes taken during trials (Tarr, 2002). Students
misconceptions must be challenged through rich problem solving activities (Fi & Degner,
2012).
Assumed prior knowledge of students:
Students have explored and can use probability language to describe the chances of an
event occurring and they have some experience in numerically rating probability on a scale
0-1.
Grouping strategies to support learning:
Throughout this unit students will be working, in whole class, small grouped, paired and
individually at different stages. It is important that students have the opportunity to work
with peers, as it provides scaffolding and allows for rich discourse which strengthens student
learning (McNamara & Waugh, 1993).
Overview of assessment:
Assessment will be performed in several ways. Teacher observes reflection and discussion
times and writes anecdotal notes. Student-teacher conferences throughout lessons and mini
lesson times, with purpose of examining understandings and provide feedback. Students
written reflections will be used to gain insight into their understandings and abilities.
References:
Fi, C. D. & Degner, K. M. (2012). Teaching through problem solving. The mathematics
teacher. 105(6). 455-459. DOI: 10.5951/mathteacher.105.6.0455
Mcnamara, D. & Waugh, D. G. (1993) Classroom Organisation:a discussion of grouping
strategies in the light of the Three Wise Men's report, School Organisation: formerly
school organisation. 13(1), 41-50. DOI: 10.1080/0260136930130104
Tarr, J. E. (2002). Providing opportunities to learn probability concepts. (Principles and
http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE
%7CA84903082&v=2.1&u=acuni&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=2ef0912fd305b5f3bcf
df761beea814b

## MATHEMATICS UNIT PLANNER

Topic: Whats the chances? (Probability: Chance)
Key mathematical understandings
(2-4 understandings only; written as
statements believed to be true about
the mathematical idea/topic):
Randomness is key to probability

Year Level: 6

Term:

Week: 5

Date: 20/10/2014

## Key AusVELS Focus / Standard (taken directly from AusVELS documents):

Content strand(s): Statistics and Probability
Sub-strand(s):
Chance
Level descriptions:
Describe probabilities using fractions, decimals and percentages (ACMSP144)

Conduct chance experiments with both small and large numbers of trials using appropriate digital
technologies (ACMSP145)

## Compare observed frequencies across experiments with expected frequencies (ACMSP146)

Proficiency strand(s):
Understanding
Fluency
Problem
Solving
Reasoning
Understanding Making a connection between probability and fractions, decimals and percentages
Problem Solving Through experimental probability trials, create predictions.
Reasoning Discussing and justifying why the prediction is correct. Developing theoretical notions

## Key skills to develop and practise

(including strategies, ways of working
mathematically, language goals, etc.) (4-5
key skills only):

## Identify and express the continuum of

probability using a variety of vocabulary

## Test probability ideas through trials and

sample size variations

## Developing a link of fractions, decimals and

percentages to probability

chance

## IPad/ computer access and IWB

Die and large dice
Horse race game board
Counters
A very improbable story by Edward
Einhorn
ICT resources (listed with in the unit)

## Key vocabulary (be specific and include

definitions of key words appropriate to
use with students)
Probability
Chance
Sample size
Trials
Likely
Possible
Impossible
What are the chances of . Happening?
Event
Outcome
Fractions
Decimals
percentages

## Possible misconceptions (list of

misconceptions related to the
mathematical idea/topic that students
might develop):

## Subjective knowledge of probability

The more trials or size of the sample space
is more likely to produce the desired
outcome
Chance has no memory, individual trials are
independent of one another
Probability is random

strategies/Learning

## Key probing questions (focus questions

that will be used to develop
understanding to be used during the
sequence of lessons; 3 5 probing
questions):
What are the chances of .. event
occurring?
What factors must be taken into
consideration when determining the
likelihood of an event occurring?
Does it matter how big the sample
space is? Does this affect your
prediction?
How can we describe that?
Do all the trials have the same results?
What does this tell us?

Analysing
Estimating
Listening
Checking
Explaining
Locating
Classifying
Generalising
information
Co-operating
Hypothesising
Making choices
Considering
Inferring
Note taking
options
Interpreting
Observing
MATHEMATICA
TUNING
IN
INVESTIGATIONS
L
(WHOLE CLASS
SESSION
FOCUS
FOCUS)
(INDEPENDENT
LEARNING)
(what you want
relating to the focus of
(extended opportunity
the children to
the lesson; sets the
for students to work in
come to
scene/ context for what
pairs, small groups or
understand as a
students do in the
individually. Time for
result of this
independent aspect.
teacher to probe
lesson short,
e.g., It may be a
childrens thinking or
succinct
problem posed, spider
work with a small group
statement)
diagram, an openfor part of the time and

## Links to other contexts (if applicable, e.g.,

inquiry unit focus, current events,
literature, etc.):
Melbourne cup horse racing
ICT
Literacy

Performing
Seeing patterns
Testing
Recognising bias
Selecting
Viewing
Planning
Reflecting
information
Visually
Predicting
Reporting
Self-assessing
representing
Presenting
Responding
Sharing ideas
Working
Providing
Summarising
independently
ASSESSMENT
MAKING
STRATEGIES
CONNECTIONS
- Enabling prompt
SESSION
(to allow those
(should relate to
(WHOLE CLASS
experiencing difficulty
objective. Includes
FOCUS)
to engage in active
what the teacher will
(focused teacher
experiences related to
listen for, observe,
questions and summary
note or analyse; what
to draw out the
- Extending prompt
evidence of learning
mathematics and assist
(questions that extend
will be collected and
students thinking on
what criteria will be
NB. This may occur at
used to analyse the

Session 1
Degrees of
probability
can be
described
using a
variety of
language.

conferences)

## Introduce the book: A

very improbable story
by Edward Einhorn.

Categorising and
ordering the vocabulary
form certain to
impossible.

Focus Questions:
What are some of the
words used to describe
probability?
How are these different
in the chance of
something happening?
(likely impossible)
Brainstorm words
which can describe
probability from certain
to impossible. Create a
Wordle to display.

## Each student is given a

word which describes a
probability from certain
to impossible.
students to peg their
word along the rope
and justify why it
belongs at the
particular spot.
statement which will
describe an event. They
must then place it along
the rope as to the
likelihood of that event
actually occurring. (e.g.
I will play footy of
Saturday or I am going
to travel to the moon
tomorrow)

## particular points during

a lesson. Use of
spotlight, strategy,
gallery walk, etc.)

Discuss students
choices for where they
placed their probability
word along the rope.
Focus Questions:
Are there words which
should go somewhere
else? Why?
What does impossible
mean? Certain?
Possible? Likely?...
Are there better words
that can be used to
describe the likelihood
of an event occurring?

evidence)

Enabling:
Allow students to work
with a partner to
discuss their choices.
Extending:
Students need to find
examples which show
examples of probability
that are related to the
vocabulary.

## Observe and take

students
justifications.
Are students
statements of events
showing
understanding?

Session 2
There is no
difference in
results when
the variables
stay the
same but the
method
changes.

## Throw a large dice and

discuss the chances of
it landing on 6.
Focus Questions:
How likely is the dice to
roll a 6? 4? 1? 0? 8?
How do you know?

Enabling:

## I have 3 die, I want to

roll three 5s. Does it
make a difference if I
roll the die all together
or one at a time?

## Groups of students will

present their arguments
as to which method is
better or if it doesnt
make any difference.

dice

## Ask students to write a

method is better and
why they believe it is.

Focus Questions:
Did the method affect
the results?
Why do you think that
method work
better/worse?

Working in small
groups, students need
to conduct trials to test
their prediction.
Fischbein, Sainati Nello
& Sciolis Marino (1999)
Session 3
Probability is
in games we
play and ICT.

Introduce the
probability and ICT.
Play Pulling Objects
From Bag
http://wwwk6.thinkcentral.com/con
tent/hsp/math/hspmath/
ca/common/itools_int_9
780153616334_/probab
ility.html
Discuss and have
students justify their
choices. Each student
should be given the
opportunity to have a
go.

## Students play the ICT

games to investigate
probability ideas.
Probability Fair
http://mrnussbaum.com
/probfair-play/
Coco the Parrot
http://www.mathplay.com/ProbabilityGame.html
Basic Probability
Practice
http://www.ixl.com/mat

Extending:
Students need to create
a way of recording the
outcomes of the trials in
a logical fashion.
Find a way of predicting
the likelihood or rolling
three 5s.

Teacher moves
between groups and
listens to
conversations,
observes student
prompting questions
to enable or extend
upon student
understandings.

## How can we record the

results?
Is there any way of
predicting the likelihood
of rolling three 5s?
explain?
Reflecting upon the
experience.
Students will write the 5
that they gained from
playing these games.
Share in small groups
and then discuss as a
whole class the VIPS.
know of any other
games or activities
which they have play
before have included
chance and how it was
incorporated.

Enabling:
Students work with a
partner or small group
to allow for discussion.
Extending:
Explain to a partner
how the game works
and the strategies used
to be able to predict
and win the game.

Review a selection of
students VIPS.
Checking for
understanding.

Session 4

Fair or unfair,
testing the
game.

## Show a YouTube clip of

the Melbourne cup.
m/watch?
v=w_NKzephhWU
Focus Questions:
How does horse racing
How is chance
calculated for the odds
of a horse winning the
race?
Is the favourite horse
a certain to win the
race?

Session 5
Probability
can be
related to
fractions,
percentages
and
decimals.

Students will
investigate the
probability and chance
of each horse winning
the race and decide
whether the game is
fair or not.

## Review the results from

the game trials. Discuss
what students found.

Focus Questions:
Which horse is most
likely to win? Why?

unfair? Why?

## Students record their

initial predictions.
Discuss how the results
can be recorded.

## Introduce the Horse

Race [Appendix A]
game. Show students
the game board and
materials needed.
Discuss the rules.

## Students play with a

partner a few times and
record the results.

## Students play the Horse

Race game once
through.

investigate and record
the chance of each
different horse winning.

Focus Questions:
Is the game fair?
How can we use our
results to find out?
Are there ways of
finding out which horse
is most likely to win
without playing the
game?

## Create a class tally of

the results and discuss
why one horse won
more times than others.

## Model using a table,

labelled from 1-12.
Students may use the
dice to help them fill in
the table which shows
all possibilities of
tally up the totals.
(There should be 36
different possibilities)

accurate? Why/ why
not?

## Why does one horse

have a better chance of
winning than another
one?

Enabling:
Students use a modified
board with only 1-6
Extending:

Record anecdotal
responses.
Do students have a
good understanding of
what is fair or unfair?

Students investigate
ways of predicting the
probability using visual
representations. (table,
tree diagram)

## Discuss ways in which

we could find out what
the chances of each
horse winning is.
Are there ways of
finding out which horse
is most likely to win
without playing the
game?

## Reflecting back to the

original questions.
How does horse racing
How is chance
calculated for the odds
of a horse winning the
race?
Is the favourite horse
a certain to win the
race?
Is the game fair or
unfair? Students write a
decision of fairness.

Enabling:
Mini lesson with
students in creating
fractions and converting
fractions to decimals.
Extending:
Find the percentages for
each horse winning the
game.

## Take anecdotal notes

from class discussion
reflections and ability
to relate probability to
fractions and
decimals.
Review selected
students justifications
the horse race game.