Fidget spinners have become the new must-have toy, flooding classrooms worldwide with a colorful burst of distracting movements. However, spinners aren’t just toys. Instead, spinners are a world of possibility, from nifty tricks to wow your friends with, to lessons learnt on variables and probabilities. Yes, spinners can teach you mathematics!
Want to find out how to bring lessons into play? Here are some fun activities to help incorporate math into spinners!
1) SPIN A WINNER: Addition and conversion activity
This simple activity is a swift understanding to addition and conversion, as well as the study of movement and time. Knowledge is the reward, therefore everyone is a winner!
2) COLOR ME FRENZY: Probability, division, and conversion activity
Print out the following two activity sheets. You will only need 1 color chart, and as many participant pages as required. Color in the empty segments of the circle. Then make a small pointer out of sticky tape or a sticker, and place it on one section of your spinner. Take turns spinning the spinner to see which color it lands on. Write your results in the activity sheet. Repeat this for a total of 10 times.
To bring probability into the game, choose a color before you begin. For instance, purple. Try to estimate the probability of the spinner landing on purple by following the equation below:
Purple would be your probability, and there are 6 colors in total. To get a percentage, you’ll need to divide the event and outcome, and multiply the amount by 100. Therefore, your equation should look like this:
You can also up the difficulty by estimating the percentage of rounds that your spinner pointer will land on purple. Example, what would the probability of your spinner landing on purple at least 5 times be? This allows for higher probabilities, thus giving a broader range of responses.
So the next time your parents give your spinner a bad rep, show them how you can solve their spinner problems with a little mathematical spin!