We are just starting a unit on probability in Geometry B class. It is probably my favorite unit to teach in the class. (I wish we offered a probability/statistics class so I could spend all year on it.) I don’t know if this is because I use these more in my own life, or if its because it is the farthest thing from ‘regular’ high school geometry and I’m still nursing a really bad memory of my own high school geometry class. Seriously. I almost turned down my current job when I was going to have to teach geometry. But now it is one of my favorite classes to teach. Go figure.
Most of the students come in with some idea of the general idea from elementary and middle school. So I wanted to see how much and what kind of knowledge stuck. Our warm up on day one was “Remove One.” I could give credit to a hundred different sites, but I think the template I used to edit was from here. I gave no directions other than to place the blocks on the numbers for the first round. The second time I simply asked them to think about the game and adjust as they saw fit. We only played twice, then got down into constructing the sample space and starting to refine the ideas they brought to the table.
Across the board “equal likelihood” meant 50-50 to the students. I don’t know if this is out on convenience in language or a gap in math, but it was a good place to talk about mathematical language versus what we hear in our daily lives and why precision in language matters into most (all?) fields.
To end class, students worked alone to create sample spaces for a different scenarios and write possible events that could happen. Then they turned to their seat partner to share out and clear up any misconceptions.