Task# Heads or Tails

Illustrative MathematicsVaries

This task asks students to think about how the distribution of observed outcomes from a chance experiment might differ from the theoretical distribution and to use observed data to estimate a probability. This task could be used as an assessment item or as the basis for a classroom discussion. If you use it for classroom discussion, be sure that students understand that they will not always see exactly see 5 heads in ten tosses, even if the coin is fair. After students have had a chance to estimate the probability in part (c), you could follow up by asking them if they think that this number is exactly equal to the theoretical probability of getting 4, 5 or 6 heads when a coin is tossed.