3rd Grade - Record Outcomes For Coin Toss

Fractions and Probability
Record Outcomes for Coin Toss
Record the possible outcomes for a simple event (e.g., tossing a coin) and systematically keep track of the outcomes when the event is repeated many times.
Statistics, Data Analysis and Probability: recording outcomes The ability to use tally marks or other measuring systems to keep track of how many times an event occurs. These marks can then be turned into a bar graph or other type of presentation of data.

Sample Problems


How do we keep a record or our counting? (e.g., draw pictures, tally marks, make graphs, write it down)


Why is information organized in charts and graphs? (it helps solve problems, such as knowing what people like best)


Define tally mark. (a short vertical line made to count. 4 lines are drawn and then a diagonal line crosses overlapping all 4 to make a group of 5).


Define scale. (ratio of length or amount to actual length or amount)


What other ways could you use to keep track of data besides using tally marks? (e.g., drawing pictures, marking with letters, making a chart or list)

Learning Tips


Ask 10 friends or family to name their favorite food from several choices: Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Indian or American. Graph the results using a bar graph. Or friends and family can be asked their favorite ice cream or fruit, etc.


Children can begin recording outcomes by recording tally marks. If he/she has difficulty counting them the child can point to each tally mark and count them aloud. Children can advance to counting the tally marks by 5.


After understanding tally marks, children can make a pictograph. A rectangular chart can be prepared for them with specific categories already printed. For example, five favorite colors written in boxes along the left side. Children can then cut out and glue squares on the chart to represent each person surveyed. A pictograph can also be constructed vertically on the page to resemble a bar graph.


Children can make a bar graph and explore the idea of scale. Children need to choose a scale for the graph that corresponds to their survey. The scale must begin with 0, but intervals need not be 1. The scale may increase by increments of 2 or 5 or some other appropriate number. Children need to decide what will make the reading of their data the easiest. Have children survey a larger sample of people. For example, ask 25 people how many of them ate lunch at work or ate a banana that day or exercised, etc. Children can then make a more complicated bar graph with multiple answers, such as favorite sport or favorite type of music. Bar graphs can be made on centimeter grid paper.


Draw chart summaries of any type of information (e.g., survey results, numeric tallies of how many saw various movies, attendance at particular amusement parks) and ask students to make bar graphs from those tables.

Extra Help Problems


Use the list to make a tally chart:

Favorite foods.














Use the tally chart: How many people chose Burgers as their favorite food?


Use your tally chart: Which food did most people like the most?


Use your tally chart to make a pictograph. Draw a picture of each food type. One pizza, noodle or burger equals one vote.


Draw the pictograph again, but this time, make each picture count for two votes of that item. Give your pictograph a title.


Use the tally chart to make a bar graph of favorite foods.


Show a tally chart of favorite pets. 9 votes for dog, 16 votes for bird, 12 votes for cat and 4 votes for hamster.

Make a bar graph from the tally chart.


Use your bar graph. What is the second most favorite pet?


Use your bar graph. How many more people prefer birds to hamsters?


Your dad tossed a coin ten times and it landed on heads half the time. How would you make a tally chart to show the results of the toss?


What if the coin landed on heads twice and the rest of the time on tails? How would that look as a tally chart?


Make a tally chart to show the coin landing on tails 4 times and heads 6 times.


Combine all three tally charts and make a bar graph to show the combined results of the coin toss.


Show a 4 quadrant colored spinner. You spin the spinner 20 times and 1/5 of the spins land on blue, 1/5 land on yellow and the rest of the spins land on red. Draw a tally chart to show those results.


Make the spinner tally chart into a bar graph to show those results and color it.


Favorite Seasons


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Key: = 5 people


Use the table. Did more or less than 20 people vote on their favorite season? (more)


List the favorite seasons in order from the season that the fewest people like to the season that the most people like.


Draw a tally chart to reflect the results of the season survey.


An eight-quadrant spinner is spun 100 times. Half of the spins land on 1, 2, 3, and 4 equally. The other half land on 5 and 7 equally. Make a tally chart to reflect those results.


Make a bar graph to reflect those results.


What is the probability of the spinner landing on 6? (1/8)


Can the probability be changed by spinning the spinner more frequently?


Make your own tally chart to reflect roll or the dice or coin. Roll at least 50 times.


Make a bar graph to reflect your results.


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