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Need Expert Advice



Dear Fellow Teachers,
I will be teaching 4th grade about probablity. How do you explain this concept to fourth graders where they can understand? I need all the expert advice.


Senior Member

I used to explain it as chances. I made several spinners. One with 4 blue. One with 4 red. One with 1 blue and 3 red. You get the idea. Which spinner gives us the best chance to land on red. There is a higher problability that it lands on red with spinner number _. I hope this idea helps.

Marie from PA


Senior Member

I teach them terms; likely, unlikely, certain, uncerain. I give examples for them to decide which term to use.

The tree outside will grow money. unlikely
If you put 5 coins in a bag, 4 dimes and 1 penny. Can you pull out a quarter? unlikely

You will make a good grade on the spellinbg test if you study. likey

You get a report card each nine weeks. certain

I let them put colored blocks in a bag and pull 20 times. They keep a tally chart. They predict which color will be pulled the most and least.

Go to google and type in lesson plans for probability. I love teaching this topic. If you use hands on the students will love it and understand. Good luck!


Full Member
Chances are the way to go!

I agree with the previous post. Chances and probability go together. Use different colored socks in a garbage bag, or rolling the dice, or just talk to them about the Kentucky Derby!! Jk. Anyway have fun with chances and don't forget to draw and put back in for the same probability each time, or draw and take out and have a different ratio everytime.


Senior Member

I have my students do activities with dice, coins, spinners, cards, colored cubes, etc. In our dice activity, we first list all the possible outcomes of tossing 2 dice and adding them. It comes out to be 21 total possible outcomes. I ask them to tell me how many ways the sum of 5 can be rolled (2,3) and (4,1). I show them how to write the probability of rolling a 5 like this: P(5) = 2 out of 21 and so forth. I ask them several questions while looking at the list we generated. By looking at the list, they predict which sum will show up most often. Then, I give them a chart with all the possible sums and 2 dice, and let them try out their predictions.

Each activity begins with listing all the possible outcomes. I have a spinner that has the numerals 0-9. I may ask them what the probability would be of spinning an odd number. We first list all the odd numbers on the spinner as the possible outcomes (1,3,5,7,9). So the P(odd) = 5 out of 10 or 1/2.

If you will email me, I can send you some activity sheets.