So You Don't Know
Beans About Probability?
off the ends of a bunch of whole green beans, and steam over boiling water for
about 5 minutes. Cool, then chill. At serving time, stir a little mustard into
a little sour cream, and use it as a dip for your green beans.
Empty prescription bottle with lid
or old film container with lid
Dry beans, fairly large | Paint and
Miscellaneous items and glue to
Scratch paper and pencil
Use fun scraps to make your bean bottle
uniquely your own.
Count out 10 beans per student. Paint the
beans with one color on one side, and then when they are dry, turn them over
and paint the other side with another color.
Let the paint dry completely and then
place your beans in your bean bottle.
To play, shake
the beans inside the bottle. Some kids have trouble getting the lid off a
prescription bottle, so you can always shake the beans with the palm of your
hand over the bottle to keep them from spilling out.
them for a bit, dump
them out on the table.
Here are several ways to practice math
with each set of beans:
Probability. Record which color is up for each of the
10 beans for each of 10 rolls. See if the average comes close to 50%. The laws
of random chance say that, over time, you have an equal, 50/50 chance of either
of the two colors turning up. See if your 10 rolls bear that out.
Multiplication. You already know that you have 10 beans,
so how about counting how many beans of each color you got, and then
multiplying those two numbers?
Fractions. Older students might enjoy painting more
beans in different colors, and then computing fractions and percentages based
on how they roll out. Record your findings on the scratch paper.