In the long run

10 - 11 years

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 5-6 curriculum include:

• describing chance events using numbers, such as 70% chance of rain
• listing outcomes of chance experiments involving equally likely outcomes
• recognising that probabilities range from 0 to 1
• describing probabilities using fractions, decimals and percentages
• conducting chance experiments with both small and large numbers of trials using digital technologies.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Is it likely?

What’s the likelihood that you can help your child deepen their understanding of probability? Very high, if you use some of these ideas:

• watch weather reports and discuss what statements such as 70% chance of rain actually mean
• make note of the weather forecast and outcomes over a week and see how accurate the forecasts were.
If the forecast predicts a ‘70% chance of rain’ and it doesn’t rain, was it wrong? (Answer: no, the forecast also meant there was a 30% chance of no rain)
If it predicts a 10% chance of rain and it does rain, was it wrong? (Answer: no!)
• link the language of probability (eg likely, possible) to mathematical language
I think it’s very likely that Grandma will bake your favourite chocolate cookies for the party. What percentage would you give that? … 70% chance of happiness?
• notice and discuss other mathematical predictions and probabilities in the media, such as election forecasts.
Did you see that those two election surveys were held at the same time but gave different results? How do you think that could happen?

Go online

For some online reinforcement, The foul food maker will give your child practice at:

• predicting, conducting and analysing the outcomes of chance experiments.

Mystery spinner: challenge will give your child practice at:

• making predictions, conducting chance experiments and reading and interpreting graphs.

[5-6Learning]

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