A Probability Game for Middle School Math
Remove One is my favorite probability game and one of my all-time favorite math games! It's a great way to teach probability and the students love it.
I've been using the Remove One probability game nearly every year since I was introduced to it through a program called the Mathline Middle School Math Project, sponsored by PBS (back in 1997?). I was involved in the program through my graduate studies at Allentown College of Saint Francis DeSales (now DeSales University).
Anyway, this year, my student teacher is teaching our probability lessons; so she is the one who taught this lesson.
How This Probability Game Works:
This is how the lesson works:
1. Students use a piece of paper as their "game board" and number the paper from 12-2 (or 2-12).
3. If students have a chip next to that sum, the students may remove ONE chip from their paper (thus the name of the game -Remove One).
4. Play continues, with the teacher rolling the dice and the students removing one chip each time the corresponding sum is rolled.
The "winner" is the student who removes all of the chips first.
Playing Remove One a Second Time:
Without much class discussion about the first game, we play the game a second time. Normally, I just ask students to make some quiet observations to themselves before placing their chips again.
Students typically notice that the sums of 6, 7, and 8 are rolled the most often and that 2 and 12 are usually rolled the least often, so they arrange their chips differently.
Discussion After Playing the Game a Second Time:
After the second game, we have a discussion about all of the possible outcomes (sums) one can get when rolling 2 dice.
We also discuss how many ways there are to roll each of those outcomes, and what the probability is of rolling each sum. We find this probability in fraction form, and then often convert them to decimals and percents.
After this discussion, we play the game for a third time, and students' "game boards" look a bit different!
Observations During the Game:
This year, since I was observing rather than teaching, I was better able to hear some of the students' quiet comments to each other...
When I started discussing this lesson with my student teacher, I searched for the lesson online, just in case it was around, and I found it right away. Click HERE to see the full lesson plan from PBS.
Have you played this probability game?
What other probability games or activities do your students enjoy?
Resources to help teach and practice probability concepts:
To Read Next:
Fold it Up for Interactive Math Notebooks
Do your middle school math students have difficulty with their fraction, decimal, percent conversions? My 6th grade math students often do, but I have a few ways I can share, to help them try to keep the concepts straight.
Tools for Teaching Fraction, Decimal, Percent Conversions:
We started our Percent Unit last week and began the unit with converting between fractions and percents and decimals.
I had already made the fraction, decimal, percent number line (a free resource in my store), with the most common fractions, percents, and decimals, but I figured there was a need for a "foldable" to keep all of the "rules" for converting in one place.
Converting Fractions and Decimals
We have already worked on converting decimals to fractions and fractions to decimals, but somehow, as we add new concepts, the students seem to forget how to do these things!
It's funny - my team teachers and I never write percents on students' papers any more, but always write their grades as fractions, like 18/23. From the first week of school, we teach the students how to change these fractions into percents, and every time they get a graded paper back, they are to find their percentages. So, when we say, "Figure out your percent," we know they can do it.
BUT, in math class, if I ask them to change 18/23 to a percent, they just look at me. When I give them the hint, "Pretend it's your grade," they look at me, and understanding dawns on their faces! Why do they need that cue? Hmmm.....always a question.
Fraction, Decimal, Percent Fold it Up
Anyway, to keep the fraction, decimal, percent conversion rules all in one place for my 6th grade math students, we made this "fold it up." The fraction, decimal, percent tabs (triangles) each get cut in half, and have a different rule and example under each half.
You can see the set up of the inside of the fold it up below.
I'm so glad we made these last week, because our schedule has been screwy for the past few school days! Thursday and Friday we had early dismissal due to parent-teacher conferences, so none of the math classes met on either day; and today, we had a two hour delay, so all classes were short.
The "fold it up" was super-handy as we had to work pretty quickly today! And hopefully, they've used it to help them with their homework tonight!
What are your favorites for helping students remember fraction, decimal, percent conversions?
More Resources to teach Fraction, Decimal, Percent Concepts:
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Hey there! I'm Ellie - here to share math fun, best practices, and engaging, challenging, easy-prep activities ideas!