Spring SAVY 2018, Day 3- Probability and Prediction (Kindergarten)
This week we spent quite a bit of time playing games. We talked about playing games as mathematicians and thinking about each person’s chances of winning. Our first game was called Even Steven. There were cubes in a bag, and player 1 was trying to draw cubes of the same color while player 2 was trying to draw cubes of a different color. We played 3 versions of this game to see which was the most fair. In version 1, there were 2 green cubes and 1 blue cube. Version 2 had 2 of each color in the bag, and version 3 had 3 green and 1 blue. Students thought that version 2 would be the most fair because there were the same number of each color cube in the bag. It was surprising to find out that version 3 was the most fair. We looked at the possible outcomes for each bag to see why it was the most fair. Some students still held on to the idea that version 2 was the most fair. Next week, we will play another similar game to continue our thinking about fairness when it comes to probability.
We also played some board games to explore the idea of fairness and luck. When I first asked about games that students had played, they came up with several ideas. One student mentioned soccer, and this was a great way to talk about skill level as well. We talked about how it would not be fair for a team of 5 and 6 year olds to play a team of high school students. When we played our games, we also talked about whether or not we needed skill or if 5 and 6 year olds could play with adults and have the same chance of winning. We played Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and Trouble. Those games all had elements of probability from previous experiments in class. As we played, we talked about the chances of winning for each person and possible bad luck and good luck scenarios. At the end, students were eager to share the bad and good luck stories. This helped us connect to prior conversations about pattern, coincidence, and randomness.
Next week, we will be applying some of what we have learned about probability to our lives beyond playing games. The students also asked to do some of the probability experiments again which gives us a chance to dig deeper into concepts we previously discussed.