Magnitude estimates 5th grade Math

June 9, 2016
Stringer 7 th Grade Math

Yesterday was AWESOME!

I had the great fortune of visiting Jen Sandland's classroom in the morning.

— Ms. Sandland (@SandScholars) Jen is a 5th grade teacher in my district. Her students and I spent an hour having a blast:
Jen's students have done a few Estimation 180 challenges this year. Therefore, I assumed they already knew my height. WRONG! So, we started with estimating my height. The best part of the conversation was helping students deliver their answers like 6.2 as 6 foot 2 inches. It was sooooo cool to hear students catch themselves, and work at eliminating the decimal point when referring to feet and inches. Once they found out my height, I took three student volunteers for the class to estimate their heights?
A BLAST!

The tallest student, (we'll call her Jane), came in at a towering 5'2". I was holding a part of the clothesline in my hand as the remainder of it was outstretched on the floor. I asked the class:
"How many Janes would make the length of the clothesline?"

Oh, man. You should have seen these kids talking about this? Some made guesses like four or five Janes. Naturally, I asked, "So how long are four Janes? How long are five Janes?"

I wish I took a picture of our model, but it looked something like this:


One student explained his method of adding the feet first and then the inches. It was amazing! So we came up with the length of the clothesline as a range of 20'8" to 25'10". I then had two students help me measure the clothesline against Jane's height and we almost got five Janes. That makes sense because the rope is actually 25 feet long.
The thinking, strategies, and conversations were so cool. We placed our too lows, too highs, and just rights on the clothesline. We talked about order, magnitude, and spacing. If you do Day 150 with students and you're watching the answer as a class,
PAUSE THE VIDEO WHEN THE "C" IS COMPLETED TO MAKE $0.65.Cent Sign of Pennies from Mr.Stadel on Vimeo.

Give students a chance to revise their initial estimates. It's such a powerful experience. Pause those video answers and let students change their answers once they have more information.

Before my farewell, the students asked me a few questions:
How'd you make the video to the pennies answer?
Take a picture of the complete layout. Subtract a penny. Take another picture. Repeat.
What program do you use to make the counters on Estimation 180 videos?
Apple's Motion
What are your favorite Estimation 180's?
The music challenges. HANDS DOWN!
Did you always like math?
No. I loved music and art in school. I was just good at remembering math rules. Now, I love getting better and understanding numbers.

My question to them:
What is your favorite thing about numbers?

They are expected to answer this when I return to their class. When I return, I'd love to just blend in, if that's possible, while they are doing math centers or other activities and learn from them. Man, these kids were so fun to hang out with for an hour.

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