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Welcome to my math blog! The purpose of this blog is to help you stay informed about our learning and experiences that have taken place during our math class. I have also included links your child (and you) may want to use in order to supplement math learning in 5th grade.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Estimations Problem Solving

Today we began with an exit ticket that would show me if students knew how to properly align whole numbers before adding.  

Then I read the story, A Million Fish ... More or Less by Patricia C. McKissack.  I used this as an introduction to making sure an estimation or answer is reasonable.  We added "reasonable' to our word web and then we talked about why we estimate.  I gave examples of when estimation is used in the math class and this is when we use "is it reasonable" to help us determine if an answer is correct.  I also gave some examples of when estimation is used in the "real world."  We discussed estimating whether we have enough gas to get where we are going, if we have enough time, if we have enough money, etc.  We finished by students restating the definition of estimation in their own words and then deciding how to illustrate estimation.

We jumped back into estimating by doing Day 2 of the Estimation 180.  This time, we used our knowledge that Mr. Stadel is 6"4' (1.93 m) tall to analyze Mrs. Stadel's height and make an estimation.  The kids did a great job!  We also connected this back to whether our estimations were reasonable (what is too HIGH, what is too LOW).  They love this activity!

Next, I moved them into thinking about the six stations that we did yesterday as "problem solving".  Each table was asked to explain how they solved the problem and what their estimation was.  Then every table gave their estimation and we compared answers.  Finally, I gave them the actual answer.... they really wanted to know!

To end the class, I revisited the story from yesterday.  I reminded the classes that "the boy" won a trip to Hawaii by guessing the number of jelly beans in the jar.  I shared with them that one of the banks in our town is doing a competition much like this.  I showed them them the advertisement from the paper.... this IS real world.  However, since my kids are not "18 or over" we needed to do a competition in class.... so, I brought out a jar of jelly beans and asked them to make an estimation and EXPLAIN how they came to that number.  They are NOT allowed to use "I guessed."  The winning answer in each class with get a jar of jelly beans to take home (AFTER school)!

I am really interested in their explanation more than the estimate, because I want to see the THINKING involved in their estimate.  We will use their explanations to start "Building Better Math Responses" tomorrow in class.

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