Probablility and Statistics Assignment

As this school year comes to a close, my students have been having some interesting inquiry based investigations in the area of Statistics and Probability.  One of my favorite tasks is to have students work with Smarties or Skittles on a project.  Last week, I brought in 50g packages of smarties for the students to sort and analyze.  Students were amazed that the packages didn’t contain the same amount of smarties, or have the same distribution of colours.  They estimated, sorted, created pictographs, bar graphs, line graphs, analyzed and compared results.  Students worked in pairs and there was very little classroom distraction as students were intensely focussed on their tasks. 


To visit a site that has a similar task please check out the Black Gold ICT link below:


About musingsofamathteacher

I am presently employed at New Sarepta Elementary School as a grade five teacher. During my career I have taught Grades 12 - 2. The past three years I was fortunate to work part-time as Math Lead for my school district, Black Gold Regional Schools, and have just recently accepted a part-time secondment with Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium. I have always had a passion for mathematics and am excited about implementing Alberta's "new" mathematics curriculum.
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One Response to Probablility and Statistics Assignment

  1. Love this activity. I have used Smarties as well for a similar activity but I outlined step-by-step what the students needed to do. Looking back I gave students way too much structure and missed out on the chance to observe different problem solving strategies that my students used.
    It sounds as if you opened up this task for the students and allowed them to collect data and analyze this data in ways that made sense to them. Think that is far more engaging and truly problem-based by doing this. Bravo!

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