Transum Maths Software


There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find in the left column below some starters on the topic of Probability. In the right column below are links to related online activities, videos and teacher resources.

A lesson starter does not have to be on the same topic as the main part of the lesson or the topic of the previous lesson. It is often very useful to revise or explore other concepts by using a starter based on a totally different area of Mathematics.

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Probability Starters:

Bus Stop: How many different ways can four people stand in line?

Coloured Sheep: What is the probability of picking a red sheep from the sheep in the field?

Ice Cream: How many different ice cream cones can be made by choosing two scoops from six flavours?

Pick From The Pot: The pot contains 10 counters which are being randomly removed and replaced. How many of each colour do you think are in the pot?

Tran's Hats: In how many different ways might Tran decide to wear his hats in one week?

Advanced Probability Starters


Small images of these Starters | | |  Complete Index of Starters

Featured Activity



Find your way through the maze encountering mathematical operations in the correct order to achieve the given total. This is an addictive challenge that begins easy but develops into quite a difficult puzzle.


Curriculum for Probability:

Years 7 to 9

Pupils should be taught to record, describe and analyse the frequency of outcomes of simple probability experiments involving randomness, fairness, equally and unequally likely outcomes, using appropriate language and the 0-1 probability scale more...

Pupils should be taught to understand that the probabilities of all possible outcomes sum to 1 more...

Pupils should be taught to generate theoretical sample spaces for single and combined events with equally likely, mutually exclusive outcomes and use these to calculate theoretical probabilities more...

Years 10 and 11

Pupils should be taught to apply the property that the probabilities of an exhaustive set of mutually exclusive events sum to 1 more...

Pupils should be taught to use a probability model to predict the outcomes of future experiments; understand that empirical unbiased samples tend towards theoretical probability distributions, with increasing sample size more...

Pupils should be taught to calculate the probability of independent and dependent combined events, including using tree diagrams and other representations, and know the underlying assumptions more...

Pupils should be taught to {calculate and interpret conditional probabilities through representation using expected frequencies with two-way tables, tree diagrams and Venn diagrams} more...


Comment recorded on the 5 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Stoner, St George's College of Technology:

"This resource has made a great deal of difference to the standard of starters for all of our lessons. Thank you for being so creative and imaginative."

Comment recorded on the 10 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Carol, Sheffield PArk Academy:

"3 NQTs in the department, I'm new subject leader in this new academy - Starters R Great!! Lovely resource for stimulating learning and getting eveyone off to a good start. Thank you!!"

Comment recorded on the 18 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs. Peacock, Downe House School and Kennet School:

"My year 8's absolutely loved the "Separated Twins" starter. I set it as an optional piece of work for my year 11's over a weekend and one girl came up with 3 independant solutions."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by M Chant, Chase Lane School Harwich:

"My year five children look forward to their daily challenge and enjoy the problems as much as I do. A great resource - thanks a million."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by S Mirza, Park High School, Colne:

"Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Fiona Bray, Cams Hill School:

"This is an excellent website. We all often use the starters as the pupils come in the door and get settled as we take the register."

Comment recorded on the 9 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Jan, South Canterbury:

"Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you."

Comment recorded on the 26 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Julie Reakes, The English College, Dubai:

"It's great to have a starter that's timed and focuses the attention of everyone fully. I told them in advance I would do 10 then record their percentages."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by Terry Shaw, Beaulieu Convent School:

"Really good site. Lots of good ideas for starters. Use it most of the time in KS3."

Comment recorded on the 24 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Ruth Seward, Hagley Park Sports College:

"Find the starters wonderful; students enjoy them and often want to use the idea generated by the starter in other parts of the lesson. Keep up the good work"


Probability is a measure of the weight of evidence, and is arrived at through reasoning and inference. In simple terms it is a measure or estimation of likelihood of the occurrence of an event. The word probability comes from the Latin word probabilitas which is a measure of the authority of a witness in a legal case. Some of the earlier mathematical studies of probability were motivated by the desire to be more profitable when gambling. Today however the practical uses of probability theory go far beyond gambling and are used in many aspects of modern life.

We believe that even adults can, in many cases, have a poor intuition regarding the effects of probability. These activities are designed to help pupils calculate but also get a 'feel' for the principles of probability.

Probability Teacher Resources:

Dice and Spinners: Computer generated random numbers for games and probability experiments

Dice Bingo: Choose your own numbers for your bingo card. The caller uses two dice and adds the numbers together.

Greater Than: The teacher has a set of six cards numbered 1 to 6. They are placed face down on the teachers desk so that the teacher can pick up one at random which students then have to fit onto a grid.

Likelihood: Arrange some statements in order according to the probability of them happening. Compare your opinion with thousands of others.

Normal Distribution Calculator: A customised online calculator for quickly finding areas under the normal distribution curve.

Plinko Probability: A simulation of a Quincunx (Galton Board) which can be used to create the bell shaped curve of the normal distribution.

Probability Words: A visual aid to highlight the vocabulary of probability and to debate the relationship between the given words.

Skunk: A game for the whole Maths class to play involving chance and choice.

Snail Race: Twelve snails have a race based on the sum of two dice. This is the teachers' version of the race simulation.

Two Dice Possibility Space: An interactive visual aid showing the possibility space obtained when throwing two dice

Probability Activities:

Frequency Trees: Use a frequency tree to show two or more events and the number of times they occurred.

Great Expectation: An interactive online activity requiring logical thinking and a certain amount of luck to place the digits on the correct side of the inequality sign.

Hi-Low Predictions: A version of the Play Your Cards Right TV show. Calculate the probabilities of cards being higher or lower.

Likelihood: Arrange some statements in order according to the probability of them happening. Compare your opinion with thousands of others.

Pin Drop: Estimate the probability of a drawing pin landing point up from experimental data.

Probability: Basic probability questions in an online exercise.

Probability Washing Line: Hang out the washing on the line so that the probability words on the t-shirts are in order.

Remainder Race: A game involving chance and choice requiring an ability to calculate the remainder when a two digit number is divided by a single digit number.

Snail Race: A race between 12 snails. Which snail is most likely to win? This is the students' version of the race simulation.

Superior: A game for two players who compete to make the largest possible number from randomly selected cards.

Tree Diagrams: Calculate the probability of independent and dependent combined events using tree diagrams.

Finally there is Topic Test, a set of 10 randomly chosen, multiple choice questions suggested by people from around the world.

Alternatively, for the more advanced student, there is an ever-growing collection of Exam-Style Questions with worked solutions on the topic of Probability.

Probability Investigations:

Dice Investigation: Throw two dice and multiply the scores. Investigate the different products you can obtain. What about adding? What about using three dice?

Egg boxes: In how many different ways can two eggs be arranged in an egg box?

House Painting: The houses in Mathsland are all three storeys tall. Each storey is painted using one colour. How many ways can the houses be painted.

Predictive Survey: An eight question survey collecting data for an amazing probability experiment.

Traffic Jams: How many ways can three cars be lined up in a traffic jam?

Probability Videos:

GCSE Probability Part 1: Screencast of probability lesson for Intermediate GCSE Maths.

The Price is Right: How lucky can you get? How many ways are there to arrange the digits 23019? What strategies might a contestant use to get a price from these 5 digits.

Probability Worksheets/Printables:

Snail Race Board: If pupils are unable to play the Snail Race online this printable board can be used with counters and dice.

Probability External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Probability are provided for those logged into 'Transum Mathematics'. Subscribing also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel. You can sign up using one of the buttons below:


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Recently Updated



For each pair of numbers subtract the sum from the product then divide the result by 20 without a calculator. So far this activity has been accessed 4984 times and 3 people have earned a Transum Trophy for completing it.



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M. F. Kuali, Mount Fletcher

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"I like this topic because it helps one to predict the the future outcomes of most of the events happening in the world , e . g . weather focus."

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