Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Probability with Virtual Manipulatives, Blogs, & Spreadsheets

Originally uploaded by Misterteacher.
Need a highly engaging way to teach probability? Take a trip on over to the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives and play the game "stick or switch," a takeoff on the game "Let's Make a Deal."

Just like the game, this virtual manipulative allows students pick a door to find a hidden prize. And also like the show, another door will open to reveal a less than desireable prize. Students can then choose to stick with their original choice or switch to the other unopened door by clicking on the either of two buttons (stick or switch).

I'm using this game to teach experimental probability. After an introduction to hook the kids and discuss the probability involved, I allow them to play the game on their own, keeping track of their choice (stick or switch) and whether they won or lost. Tomorrow they will create graphs of the results on a spreadsheet and blog the results and conclusions. Look for them in the next few days.

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