Student Voices On Probability: Hear What We Have To Say!

As a little something different, four of my students offered to write this guest blog post on their thinking about math. Here is what they have to say (based on my questions).


What activities do you usually do when you learn about probability?

Usually we use spinners, dice, cards, board games (creating), coins, chance questions, guessing games, and videos/movies about probability.

What did we do yesterday?

Yesterday we shared what we knew and explored a new approach to probability. We looked at different real life examples on Pinterest.

What did you think about this real world probability approach? Why?

It was much better than in the previous years because we always kept repeating what we did before. We really only learned something the first year we did probability. Sometimes the answers were already so obvious that we didn’t really learn anything (e.g., Will the sun rise in the east? Well, of course!).

Yesterday’s activity helped us think about how we could use probability in real life and how others actually use it. For example, in basketball, where you are on the court usually affects how likely you are to get a basket (unless you are a super human 🙂 ). We’d rather think than do something like a worksheet. Those are boring, and then we learn nothing at all!

What advice would you give to teachers when it comes to teaching math? Be specific! 

Be the Ms. Dunsiger or the Mrs. Bishop of your generation. Do inquiry, no textbooks (they are heavy and they have no real world problems in them), no worksheets. Because, if we are going to learn about math, you might as well make it interesting, fun, and meaningful for all of us. Plus, Ms. Dunsiger and Mrs. Bishop are pretty good at their job. 🙂

What do you think of our ideas? How might you use them? Please leave a comment and let us know! We would appreciate it.

Ali, Ella, Faisal, and Layla (Guest Bloggers) 🙂

16 thoughts on “Student Voices On Probability: Hear What We Have To Say!

  1. Great job, folks!
    What a wonderful way to sum up your learning and exploration of probability. We just finished that unit in my grade 5/6 class, too! I RARELY use our textbook… for exactly the same reasons as you have indicated! (Great minds think alike!)

    Aren’t you luck to have Ms. Dunsinger as a teacher?! I know I certainly learn lots from her through twitter & emails!

    Enjoy your day!

    • Thank you so much, Dawn! I loved your comment and I’ll definitely share it with my students. They’ll be so excited!

      And, by the way, I love learning from you too! 🙂 Glad to have you as part of my PLN!


  2. Dear Ali, Ella, Faisal and Layla,
    It makes me so happy to hear how reflective you can be about your learning. Advocating about what works for you, questioning practices and challenging ideas are all skills that you can take with you into any educational forum or job world and they will help you be better citizens in our world. I am very proud of all the learning you have done with Ms Dunsiger this year, and VERY proud of all that you have taught us educators. Make sure you keep reflecting, questioning and challenging. You make us better.

    • Thank you so much for the comment, Kristi! My students will be thrilled to hear your thoughts. I’ll be sure to show them the comment tomorrow morning. I was so proud of these four students today for taking the time to truly reflect on math teaching and learning. And I must thank you a lot for teaching me the tremendous value in truly hearing student voices. I never would have asked students to share their thinking like this before. Hearing what they have to say though really makes me think … and I’m thrilled that I get to hear what they have to say every single day! I’m a very lucky teacher!


    • Thank you so much, Mrs. Bishop! We’ll keep questioning and challenging teaching and learning. We’re glad you helped make us better thinkers!

      Ali and Layla

  3. What a great (and important) reflection on learning. With your permission, I would like to share your guest blog post with all of our staff. It is a strong reminder to us all that we need to “keep it real”. Well done, students. Thanks for sharing your thinking.

    Mr. C.

    • Thanks Mr. Clemens! I just read the students your comment, and they said that you can definitely share their post with staff. They were very excited that you wanted to.


  4. Ali, Ella, Faisal, Layla:

    First of all, you are so mature and insightful- you already seem to know that “math is everywhere”. Find it, use it, make math belong to you. It’s such a powerful way to understand the world!

    Second, Ms. Dunsinger rules! True fact! I tried to get in her class but i’m too old!

    Thirdly, I heard many people will start watching soccer this week. How can we use probability to figure out who will win the World Cup?

    • Thanks for the comment, Matthew! I’m excited to share it with my students. And thanks for the kind words too. How I’d love to be a student in your class. I’m very excited to see how the students answer your probability problem. Thanks for making math meaningful!


    • It depends on how good the players are. If they scored a lot last world cup, the probability of them scoring this year is higher than people who didn’t score as high last time. And if they score the most, they usually win. Ella and Faisal wrote this comment. Thanks for giving us a question that we can think about! 🙂

  5. Well, then I must ask for your permission as well. This is too good for one school to hold onto. Because I visit various schools and I am part of a network of support for all of HWDSB, I must ask for permission to share as well. I’d really like to share this with other schools I support and other coaches as well. Many schools are making the move to putting student voice first and framing their professional learning around student engagement. This is a great example of why it’s important to ask the people we serve how best to serve them. Education is a team effort and all the voices, especially the students, must be heard in order for us to grow. Constant elevation – I like it!

    • Thanks AJ! My students are so excited that you want to share this with others. It would be great to have lots of students sharing their thinking and making all of us educators think more as well.


  6. Pingback: This Week in Ontario Edublogs | doug --- off the record

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