I wanted to review counting coins with Mr. Scientist, but I knew it would have to be something that would really engage him.
So I came up with three activities that wouldn’t just be counting the coins, and that would teach him something new at the same time! And he enjoyed them so much that I’m going to share them with you, too, including the recording sheets we used so that you can do the activities with your students as well!
We put a bunch of coins in the blue bag. Mr. Scientist grabbed a handful of coins with each hand, without looking. Then he made a hypothesis about which held the highest value of coins. After making the hypothesis, he put the coins in the bowls and counted them to see if he had been correct or not.
He enjoyed this game so much that he played at least ten times in a row! I observed while he played, to make sure that he was counting the coins correctly.
2. Coins and Probability
Mr. Scientist chose some coins, and I taught him about probability. We talked about how we could write a fraction that would show the probability that each type of coin would be chosen when taking a coin out of the blue bag without looking. We hadn’t ever explored probability yet, so this was something new that engaged him, while reviewing the names of the coins at the same time.
Then we tested it, putting the eight coins in the bag and drawing one at a time. We noted which one we drew, put it back in the bag, and repeated for eight trials. Then we wrote fractions to show how many times each type of coin was drawn, and we compared our results with the probabilities we wrote initially. We discovered that the size of the coin could affect the results, but that otherwise the results were pretty similar to the probabilities. It led to some great math talk, and I felt like he had a great basic understanding of probability after this activity.
Since he liked this activity so much, I made him a recording sheet to use to make recording results easier. I’ll share that sheet at the end of this post.
The third activity was another probability game, this time with just one coin. We used pennies and investigated the probability of it landing heads or tails up when tossed. I helped him understand the probability of each possibility (he didn’t understand at the beginning, as you can see in the picture), and then he tested it with eight pennies, four times, noting his results.
We succeeded in reviewing the value of coins and counting them, and we learned something new; it was one of those days in which you actually achieve what you set out to do, and without a fight! If only every day were like that… 🙂
Here are the recording sheets we used; just click on one of the pictures to download the pdf! There is a Spanish and an English version!
Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish