Estimating in Intervention class

8 Oct

I teach a math intervention class during 1st period. I’m loving this class because I stepped away from just doing more of the same (drills, reteaching, etc) to creating more of a culture of explaining your thinking, improving overall number sense, and tuning critical thinking skills. I spend some time with white boards, practicing their regular math class’ topics, and because they are all my students, I give them a practice quiz on Fridays before they get the real one in class (benefit of a 1st period intervention class). But mostly we are focusing on thinking and explaining your thinking!

Last week we started sharpening our estimation skills with Andrew Stadel’s estimation180 website. The kids (and me) are absolutely loving this activity. I got a couple of other teachers at my school doing it, and we are learning so much. The students get really excited trying to come up with an accurate estimate, and on articulating their reasoning (some strong opinions in this class). As a class we reach a consensus regarding the estimate and reasoning, but then it’s so satisfying to see the actual answer.  We also have fun reading the other classes  estimates and reasoning.  We even had another class come and visit my class (impromptu) because they wanted so desperately to understand how we came to our estimate (and they wanted to brag that they had the better estimate ;-).  Not only will we continue with this estimation activity, but my students want to give Mr. Stadel some suggestions for other estimation pictures. Thanks Mr. Stadel!

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