Middle 5 Random Climb

Grade Level


Current Project

The Crazy Climber Probability Experiment (WV)

Current Learning Standards Addressed

MA.O.7.5.1 determine theoretical probability of an event, make and test predictions through experimentation.

MA.O.7.5.3 collect, organize, graphically represent, and interpret data displays including frequency distributions, line-plots, scatter plots, box and whiskers, and multiple-line graphs.

Learning Skills and Technology Tools
21C.O.5-8.1.TT6 Student uses advanced features and utilities of spreadsheet software, (e.g. functions, formulas, filters, sorts, creates graphs and charts), to perform calculations and to organize, analyze and report data.

21C.O.5-8.2.LS2 Student draws conclusions from a variety of data sources to analyze and interpret systems.

21C.O.5-8.3.TT6 Student applies productivity / multimedia tools and peripherals to support personal productivity, group collaboration, self-directed learning, lifelong learning, and assistance for individuals with disabilities including supplemental assistive technology tools.

Summary of Current Lesson

In the activity, using a spreadsheet will allow your students to see multiple trials of the complex event and the data being generated. Conversely, they can control the probability formula to force different results. The ability to manipulate the model to test 'what if' questions can assist their grasp of the underlying mathematics.

The activity introduces students to Jack, the crazy climber, who is half way up a 200 meter cliff. He plays a game. Each minute he tosses a coin. If it lands heads-up, he climbs to his right up 10 meters. If it lands tails-up, he climbs to his right down 10 meters. He will get off the cliff safely if he reaches either the top or the bottom.

As a class, and then in pairs, have students predict how likely it is that Jack gets off the cliff. Have them write down their prediction, which will prompt a lot of discussion involving mathematics and the concepts at hand.

Students can then work through the book. Bring them together (using a data projector if available) to model certain skills and discuss concepts as you see fit.

To achieve the mathematics objectives listed below, it is important to have students complete the exercises outlined toward the end of the book. Explain to students where and how you would like them to record their answers. You should also observe each student’s spreadsheet model working (because it is dynamic) or at least have them print a page showing the data and graph of one trial..

Analysis of indicators of Engaged Learning in Current Lesson (strengths and opportunities for improvement).

Include 1 to 2 paragraphs analyzing which indicators are strong in this existing lesson and which might need to be improved in your revision. See sample.

Summary of Technology Uses in Current Lesson

Excel is used for coin flip and charting the data. An option is to embed a picture behind the graph to represent the mountain.

NEW Adaptation Title

To Gamble or Not to Gamble: Is Roulette a Good Investment?

Learning Standards Added (if any)


Summary of Your Adaptation

Due to the presence of lottery/table gambling in West Virginia, students are potential wagers in the future. However, without adequate information, many may believe that winning is an exercise in persistence. Students will use random generation to discover the potential winnings/losses of playing roulette limiting themselves to red or black choices. Excel will be generate outcomes.

To complete the model, you will:
  • Build a visual model of the probability of doubling your money/losing your money while playing roulette.
  • Run the model to determine if you will leave the table richer or poorer
  • Analyze the sample to approximate the probability that you will be successful
  • Adjust your model to explore other probability situations

How you strengthened the use of technology and the Indicators of Engaged Learning

A 1 to 2 paragraph summary/reflection on how you strengthened the indicators of engaged learning. Also include any revisions to the technologies suggested to support this lesson and how these revisions support various indicators of engaged learning. See sample.

Many students relate well to money and the option that exists to gain funds..