Maths Resource of the Week 24


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Probability - True or False

  • A great stimulus for discussing probability.
  • What is it? - Probability is probably my favourite subject in maths, and it is also one of the least understood. Students have so many inbuilt misconceptions - often planted deep within them from a very early age - which need to be weeded out before they cause long term damage. Sometimes these misconceptions are reinforced by the popular media, for whom probability is tool carelessly used to support whatever headline is being written. This resource is a wonderful way to expose any misconceptions your students may have about the topic, and also stimulate some fantastic classroom discussion. There are fifteen statements, and students simply need to decide if they are true or false. The skill, of course, comes in explaining your answer.
  • How could it be used? - This resource lends itself very well to group work. A nice lesson might involve arranging students into groups of four and giving each group a set of flash cards containing the fifteen statements. Students must then decide in their groups which ones are true and which are false, but crucially they must also have a couple of sentences/calculations to back up their assertions – simply saying “it’s obvious” isn’t good enough! Then pick a statement to start with, see if there is consensus amongst the groups for the validity of it, and if not let the discussions commence. This is an excellent way to revise the key concepts of probability, or lay the foundations for a new way of thinking about the topic for a class who have had difficulties with it in the past.
  • How have you used this resource? - Please share your ideas below.
  • Uploaded by Colin Billett

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