Estimating is an important mathematical tool that helps children make sense of numbers and helps them to test the reasonableness of answers they create amonsgt other things. Estimating, I think, can also help children feel more confortable and relaxed with numbers.
As Christmas is approaching, we created strategies to try to esimate the number of baubles in the box:
I deliberately put in some large and small baubles to extend the thinking needed:
We have been recording the strategies we used to estimate. Lots of interesting strategies have been emerging and the children have been applying some of these to change their estimates before we reveal the exact amount.
Here are some sample strategies:
The children have been discussing each the different strategies amongst themselves as the week has progressed and without prompting from me, they have been evaluating the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of strategies being tested.
When we can give children opportunities to naturally be engaged and to discuss mathematical strategies, we know we are on to something good.....