The Slushy Sludger
This series is the least complex in the Chance strand. Students are presented with the sludger that randomly delivers different flavoured slushies such as Pink slub, Blue goo or Yellow ooze.
The slushy sludger: questions
In 'The slushy sludger: questions' the Auto fill mode is operating. Students select yes, no or maybe to best describe the mathematical chance of the sludger serving a particular flavour. Students then select the serve button to see if their prediction is correct. Feedback provides information about the mathematical thinking but emphasises the concept that with random devices the outcome can be something other than the mathematical likelihood. For instance, when the sludger presents students with three of the four flavours that are the same, it can still serve the least likely.
In the second sequence of activities students are asked to 'fill' the sludger to conform to a particular statement of probability. For instance, 'Will you get Green slime? Select the flavours so that the answer is yes'. As in the previous sequence, the effect of randomness and its possible conflict with the understanding of mathematical probability is highlighted. Students can choose to return to the auto fill mode at anytime once the fill mode is activated.
Slushy sludger: best guess
'Slushy sludger: best guess' is designed to allow users to explore the idea of probability. The user is asked to 'select the most common colour' and then see what happens when the sludger serves a slushy. The idea is that the most common colour is also the most likely slushy to be served but the random nature of the machine may result in an unlikely event occurring. As this learning object is targeted at young children whose reading skills are unlikely to be highly developed, minimal textual feedback is provided.
The slushy sludger: go figure
'The slushy sludger: go figure' learning object is amenable to a screen reader and could be used for whole-class or small-group discussion led by the teacher.