Stretching Probability Explorations with Geoboards

  • Stretching Probability Explorations with Geoboards

    Ann Wheeler and Joe Champion
    Peg students’ knowledge about probability by using a common manipulative to connect number sense, geometry, and algebraic thinking.
    Students are faced with many transitions in their middle school mathematics classes. To build knowledge, skills, and confidence in the key areas of algebra and geometry, students often need to practice using numbers and polygons in a variety of contexts. Meanwhile, we also want students to explore ideas from probability and statistics. Teachers know that one way to help students navigate these transitions is to use hands-on activities and manipulatives, but it can be a struggle to find probability and statistics activities that go beyond employing spinners, M&M’s®, dice, coins, and bags of marbles. This led us to consider geoboards as an alternative manipulative for helping students explore probability.