An exploratory study on one of our top-secret projects, “La Fête foraine” (The Carnival), just got published in the McGill Journal of Education: Discussing virtual tools that simulate probabilities: what are the middle school teachers’ concerns?
Buzzmath is thrilled to be a part of this study, led by François Larose, of Sherbrooke University, in association with McGill University and Moncton University. The project allowed us to develop probability simulators and learning situations intended for middle school teachers and students to explore the amazing world of probabilities as well as helping kids think about luck, chances, randomness, and gambling.
With the help of middle school math teachers, a school board consultant, and specialists in technological education, we have developed eight simulators for the students and integrated four of them in learning and assessment situations under the French theme “La Fête foraine” (The Carnival):
· the Monty Hall problem (our favorite);
What we love about simulators is that they often produce surprising and counterintuitive results, which is very engaging for students.
Furthermore, a case to case and visual approach allows the students to understand what’s happening when a dice is rolled up to 1000 times. This way, the simulator doesn’t become a black box for them. Simulators used in the other learning situations are also available for them to analyse. Take a look at them here, here, and here.
Beyond the learning outcomes specific to the mathematics curriculum, teachers said that the simulators could help students develop their critical thinking toward games of chance and gambling.
This is an experimental project, but given the very encouraging results, we think of eventually integrating “The Carnival” to our Buzzmath content. If you want to be one of the first to try these new tools, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McGill Journal of Education
Annie Savard, McGill University
Viktor Freiman, Moncton University
Laurent Theis & François Larose, Sherbrooke University