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Math: Dice and Probability

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Probability is a fascinating math concept. It can be applied in many aspects of our students’ daily lives. As the world of technology continues to grow, teaching of many math concepts can be done in the classroom and reinforced by math learning websites. The coin flip and roll dice games that we looked at are a nice tool to show our students the concept of probability in visual form.

The coin flip game showed the probability of two results either heads or tails. It is less complex because it only has two possible results, the probability of a heads or tails coming up when flipped is 50% or one out of two chance. In the game, you control the number of flips of the coin and the results are noted and percentage is giving to you. In my results of 20 single flips, the results were 50% heads and 50% tails. But when I used the auto flip button for another 20,000 flips, the results were 50.11% heads and 49.89% tails. There was a historical button which shows historical data with results of 50% heads and 50% tails. It is a nice visual tool to explain the results of the probability concept.

The dice roll game showed the probability with many more results. It is more complex. It can give the results for one die, which are six possible results, two dice, which are 11 possible results, and three dice, which are 16 possible results. When you are rolling one die, you have a 16.67% or a 1 in 6 chance for each number to come out. When you add die to the dice roll game the results of your rolls are weighted according to the number of possible results that the dice could give. For example in order to roll a two with two dice, there is a 2.78% or 1 in 36 chance of two coming out but in order to roll a seven with two dice, there is a 16.67% or 6 in 36 chance of seven coming out. The odds and probability with three dice increase from a low of .46% or 1 in 216 chance of coming out to a high of 12.5% or 27 in 216 chance of coming out. The roll dice game is a complex visual tool that explains the results of probability.

I feel that the dice roll game would be the most difficult concept for children to learn and understand the concept of probability. The coin flip, with its two results, would be easier to understand. Even the single die roll game, with its six results, would be easy for students to follow and learn. But as you added die and results it could cause confusion for some children. I feel the more complex dice roll game would be for older children and it would be better if it showed how to do the math instead of giving computer generated results.

Visual tools like probability games are a very useful and excellent way to help students better understand math concepts. Probability is a very important concept that student will use throughout their lives. The important thing that teacher need to understand is the best way to help all our student grasp a concept. In this case, the coin flip game would be a great visual tool for most students, where the dice roll game would be better for older students in my opinion.


Billstein, R., Libeskind, S., & Lott, J.W. (2010). A Problem solving approach to mathematics
For elementary school teachers (10th Ed) Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley Betweenwaters.com (2011) Retrieved from http://www.betweenwaters.com

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