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Home : 2001 : Nov : 14

    By Tracy

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    I found this idea, I think on line awaile ago, and began using it this year. I have a see through plastic jar that I send home every week with a different child to fill up with objects of their choice(pasta, cereal, sunflower seeds, etc). They get very creative. The class must guess how many are in the jar. Only the student who filled up the jar knows. I guess also. On day one, I let them record their responses on post its and place them on the chart paper. With the jar I purchased, there is a smaller jar. On day two, I take out enough of the objects to fill up the smaller jar and let them know how many are in there. This gives them an idea as to how much could possibly be in the bigger jar. It allows them to get closer to the estimation (sometimes). If they want they change their answer. (once they get the hang of it I will eliminate this step). On day three, we use the estimations to cover other skills we've learned (graphing, average, fractions, etc.)
    On day four, we count the contents and see who is closest, within reason. I usually award a small prize (pencil, extra stickers, etc.) It gives me an idea as to who is good at estimation and those that are not, who will get better after a few tries. I also drew lines on the jar to show 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and inform the child that if they use small abjects, such as rice, on fill it up to the 1/4 or 1/2 mark. It helps with fractions when we estimate. As I write this I just thought that maybe I can have the children write their own word problems based around estimation. I hope you understand what I mean. If not just respond to this post.

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