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Adrienne Long

Dr. L. Yearta
Clinical II
19 November 2014
M&M Probability
On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, I taught a STEM lesson entitled M&M Probability
that integrated both mathematics and science. The students were assigned to use the scientific
method in determining the probability of randomly selecting a particular colored M&M from a
tin pan filled with sand. Students were told there were a total of twenty M&Ms buried in the
sand: five blues, two browns, four reds, three yellows, two oranges, and two greens. Working in
groups, they were to individually state their hypotheses and conduct an experiment to determine
whether or not their statements were supported by the results. As I walked them through this
process, each child was cooperative and engaged. They displayed excitement and seemed to
really enjoy my lesson. When I asked questions, they were willing and ready to answer them.
I began the lesson by reviewing each step of the scientific method, using an online article
from Science Kids (http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/projects/thescientificmethod.html) as a
reference. I felt that this particular resource was appropriate and very informative. I asked the
class for volunteers to read each section. Several raised their hands. I believe this was a great
way to immediately captivate their attention while simultaneously helping them better
understand the scientific method. If they are actively involved, they are more inclined to listen
and learn as oppose to being read to while sitting in their desks. I also made sure to inform
students of the definition of probability and asked them to repeat it as a reinforcement. I then led
them into completing some examples to ensure that they understood just what probability is. As

we collaborated and I prompted them, I wrote our ideas on the promethean board and instructed
them to copy it down on their provided scientific method bubble map. They readily complied.
Students mostly enjoyed conducting the experiment. They eagerly dug through the sand
to select an M&M and recorded the results that were used to test their hypotheses. I loved seeing
how enthused they were, but there were times when they got a bit too rowdy. However, I was
able to use different strategies to calm them to keep them focused. I feel that I am improving in
my classroom management skills. Overall, I feel that this was a good solid lesson that I executed
successfully.
Although I am proud of my lesson, there were some aspects of it that I could have done
differently or better. For one, I believe that I placed too much sand in the tin containers, which
made it a bit challenging for students to draw an M&M during each of their ten trials. Had I
measured the amount I put in the containers, it would have made for a better and more reliable
experiment. This is something that I would definitely consider implementing if I choose to
reteach this lesson. I would also probably use more M&Ms. Furthermore, I should have made
sure to provide more detailed instructions before allowing them to proceed with their
experiments. I forgot to instruct them to follow one important step, which was to replace their
selected M&Ms, but once asked by a student, I explained. In addition, I regret not making sure
they understood the connection between using the scientific method and determining probability.
In an attempt to accomplish this, I asked the students if they did comprehend, and they
unanimously responded, Yes. I know I would have asked more in-depth questions to ensure
this, but because of their scheduled lunch, I was running out of time and had to hurriedly wrap
things up.

After watching my video-taped lesson, I noticed several things about my current style of
teaching that I very much like. First and foremost, I love how I interacted with the students. We
all seemed to be enjoying each others company while learning. Some made humorous
comments that made me laugh, while others asked some off-topic questions that I immediately
nipped in the bud. I appeared very confident and knowledgeable about the content. Something
else that I noticed was how students were up out of their seats. This did not really bother me at
the time because they were still very much engaged and doing as I instructed. They were having
fun. I do not like, however, how dependent I am on notes. I would much rather prefer to be able
to think on my feet and teach without referring to any papers in my hands to remember what I
need to say or cover. I believe that with practice and time, I will become more proficient and
effective.