Probability

This Probability unit also includes:

Probability, especially conditional probability, can be a slippery concept for young statisticians.  Statements that seem self-evident on the surface often require a daunting amount of calculations to explicate, or turn out to be not so self-evident after all. This extensive unit on probability, however, takes these challenges and breaks them into bite-sized and scaffolded chunks. Learners take real-life scenarios and apply rules and logic of conditional probability to tease out connections and inferences. Alpha and beta error are attacked with finesse, as are conclusions surrounding event independence. Several different methods of diagramming probability (Venn, tree, and chart) are developed concurrently, so that young statisticians get a real grounding in the intuition of probability.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Could be linked with community activities (carnival or fair)
  • Easily applied to extension projects involving probability (surveys, games of chance, etc.)
Classroom Considerations

  • Students might need refreshers on probability notation/basic rules if this unit does not immediately follow a related unit (lessons begin with notation use and assumption of rule understanding)
  • Might need to be sensitive to feelings around games of chance (though not prominently featured in the unit) both in school rules and student backgrounds
  • Last page additional resources link leads to youtube.com, which might be a blocked website depending on district filters
  • Activities 9.5 and 9.6 contain a section of quadratic function review problems unrelated to this unit
Pros

  • Concepts presented from multiple angles (physical, algebraic, arithmetic), linking representations from these arenas
  • Problems build slowly in complexity, reducing intimidation factor
  • Clear directions provided for sequencing investigation, guided practice, direct instruction and independent practice
Cons

  • No teacher keys for student worksheets
  • No final summative assessment provided