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Exploring one student’s intuitive ideas about chance using TinkerPlots
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-22, 05:49 authored by Wright, S, Jane WatsonJane Watson, Noleine FitzallenNoleine Fitzallen
The intersection of the "real" world and mathematics when dealing with uncertainty can present challenges for beginners. At one extreme, in the real world we talk about the informal chance of many kinds of events, such as our team winning a game, going to the movies on the weekend, getting the flu, or going shopping. At the other extreme, mathematics provides us with a way of precisely calculating theoretical probabilities for specific events. Between these two extremes there are opportunities to plan activities and carry out trials to give estimates of the chances of a particular outcome of a real-world event, or to find out if a particular random-generator reflects the theoretical probability we expect from mathematics. A series of activities using 2- and 4-colour spinners with equally likely outcomes was trialled on a Year 4 student. Concrete, hands-on materials were first introduced before moving to a computerised random-generator. Of interest was the student’s understanding of chance-related concepts and her development across the activities.
Australian Research Council
Publication titleAustralian Primary Mathematics Classroom
Department/SchoolFaculty of Education
Place of publicationAustralian Association of Mathematics Teachers Inc