Like most students, my 7th graders are obsessed with bottle-flipping. So I thought for a long time on how to use this to my advantage with the 7th grade standards. I came up with a probability lesson. The lesson combines experimental probability, writing odds from probabilities, and making predictions from probability.
1. I lectured about how to turn odds to probability and back again. (5 min)
I used examples from sports odds and various other examples.
2. The class discussed bottle flipping.
We started by discussing bottle flipping, and followed it up with a discussion of how full the bottle should be for optimal flipping. I handed a water bottle to each student. While we downloaded the PDF and discussed the instructions students drank some water to get their optimal level.
3. The students flipped and flipped.
I allowed 5-7 minutes for students to flip bottles and collect data.
4. Students wrote probabilities and odds from the data.
Students used their own data, and their groups total data (3-4 students) to write probabilities and odds.
5. Students predicted how many successes from their next 10 flips, then tested their prediction.
Overall a quick, hectic, and very loud day. However a great success for engagement. Now tomorrow, we will see if any students remember how to write odds and probability.
The handout can be viewed here.