The Difference Between Theoretical Probabilities and Estimated Probabilities

Flip a coin to determine whether the probability of heads is one-half. Pupils use simulated data to find the experimental probability of flipping a coin. Participants compare the long run relative frequency with the known theoretical probability. Groups flip a stack of pennies to find their long-run frequency. 

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Allow groups to collect their own data of flipping coins
  • Lead a discussion on how to calculate relative frequencies
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires groups of pennies divided into stacks
  • Eighth segment in a unit of 25

  • Has tables to organize data collected
  • Includes anticipated responses to discussion questions to better facilitate conversation

  • None
Common Core