Estimation 180 in a 3rd Grade Classroom
3rd Grade Teacher
Birch Grove School for the Arts, Osseo Area Schools
Post-recess and lunch excitement is in the air as we walk back to our classroom; where our next subject to begin is math. As we all know, routines are crucial in the classroom so we begin our student-led, mindful breathing to focus our bodies and minds for learning. The classroom helpers then begin a math talk where they show an image and a question on the whiteboard to the class. Instantly, hands pop up and students are eager to share their ideas. Estimation 180 has been key to our rich mathematical conversations since day one of school. It is amazing to see how far each student has come in their number sense and ability to explain their understanding and thinking with this quick, ten minute daily routine.
Each student has the opportunity to share their number as it is recorded on the whiteboard. Once the numbers are recorded , they quickly turn and talk with a peer about their number and why they chose it. All voices are heard. Next, I pick sticks with student names to share their number and why they chose it (to speed up the process or this could take an eternity). They love to draw on the whiteboard and to justify their thinking and reasoning.
Currently, we are learning fractions and this proves to be a difficult concept for many students to grasp. I always relate our learning to real world situations that are meaningful to their lives. Today, we talk about pie!
I am mindful of standards and concepts that we are learning in order to ultimately tie it all together. The website is organized by day, but I pick and choose based on the needs of my students and objectives of lessons so skip around quite a bit.
I know that this fun, engaging task is filling in gaps of learning, strengthening basic number sense, and empowering student voice in my students. Often, mistakes are made and estimations are WAY off; which is a fabulous opportunity for correction and learning. Our motto is “just keep swimming” which shows that mistakes are made, conversations are had, and all the while we keep pushing ourselves no matter what!