Develop math reasoning and critical thinking skills in young students with our Estimating (1-3) Lesson Plan. This lesson enables students to define and use estimation for adding and subtracting by first rounding a number. Generalize understanding by exploring real-world instances where students estimated or guessed about something.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Display and ask these questions: How many people in all do you think can fit inside the gym? How many gallons of milk do you think will fill a bathtub? How much money do you think is inside a bank?
- For each question, allow students to give a rough guess. Record responses and ask some students how they decided on the answers given.
- Allow for responses and discussion. Ask: What is the difference between exact answers and guesses?
- Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students to give an example when a guess or an estimate would be okay to use instead of an exact answer. (Examples: hot dogs for a sporting event, handful of potato chips, grass seed for planting, etc.) Introduce estimation.
- Distribute Estimation (1-3) content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Save the final question for lesson closing. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
- Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. Pair students. Display a container of water. Show students 1 ounce of water Give students a sufficient amount of time to complete each task. Once completed, allow each pair of students to share responses.
- Share the exact answers for each task. Ask students how close they were to the exact answers and if they would do anything differently to get a better estimate.
- Allow for responses and discussion.
- Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
- Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
- In closing, ask: When did you have to make an estimate or guess about something? Why?
- Finally, allow students to use estimation by guessing the number of pieces of candy/treats in a jar or other container by writing the number on a slip of paper.
- Collect all slips of paper and display the students’ guesses. Reveal the correct number. (Closest to the right number receives the candy and shares some with the class.)
Common Core State Standards: None for Grade 1, CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.A.3, CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.D.8
Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions.
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