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Do You Wanna Bet?: Your Chance to Find Out…

Do You Wanna Bet?: Your Chance to Find Out About Probability

by Jean Cushman

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This book follows two boys in their discovery of the principles of probability. The author does a very good job explaining each of the different concepts around probability and has many little cartoon drawings to help with the visualizations that are needed for deeper understanding. This book is definitely geared more toward the elementary ages, probably around 4th to 7th grade due to the childlike story the book is centered around. And this book is somewhat dated, having been published in 1991. There are some dated concepts that have since the book first came transitioned toward different forms of entertainment. One example is an example of winning a tv set and shows a picture of an old tube set that the child is holding by herself. Another, that I have found to be quite a challenge in my classroom, are the examples having to do with playing cards. Kids are just unaware of the numbers involved with playing cards these days since the advancement of video games and other forms of entertainment. The book would be better if it were revised to include some of the more modern forms of kid’s entertainment.
All in all, I enjoyed the idea of using a narrative to explain and describe the different concepts of probability. It takes the concepts and makes them more concrete and more relatable than would a simple lesson in math class. If I were teaching on the elementary level, I would definitely use this book (or one more updated) to have the kids do some type of probability project, or to use as a resources for a science fair project.
Unfortunately there was no type of note about the author to show that Jean Cushman knew what she was talking about when she wrote the book. Only after careful examination can I determine if it is accurate enough and concise enough to allow the students to read on their own.
  AaronPendleton | May 6, 2013 |
This is the 1991 edition of this book which has been updated in 2007. The contemporary references are quite dated, as are the overall ambiance of the children's lives. The actual material as it relates to discussing math and probability are very accessible to the young interested reader. I am glad there is an updated version. this book is in the specialized category since it covers a narrow topic of specific interest. It is organized into chapters with each using storylines to explain a different aspect of probability. The examples are well explained and an interested reader could work out the examples. There is a table of contents mostly related to the narrative storyline. There is a large bibliography of suggested other works, but this is probably also dated. There is also an index. I am going to look for the 2007 edition, because it may have some activities I could find useful. ( )
  harriewatson | Apr 11, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618829997, Paperback)

A book about probability, chance, and how to figure them—real math in a book that’s fun. Watch Danny and Brian in action at school, at home, and at play, and discover for yourself that chance has a part in a surprising number of everyday situations. If the weather forecaster predicts a 60 percent chance of snow, should Danny count on a “snow day”? Has Brian bought enough chances to have a chance at winning the PTA raffle? Will Danny’s mother’s new baby be a boy or a girl? Do you wanna bet?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:12 -0400)

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Two boys find that the most ordinary everyday events and activities such as card games, coin flips, sports scores and statistics, and even weather prediction are dependent on the subtle interplay of many factors of chance and probability.

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