Monday, November 02, 2015

Math Monday: Estimate 180

Last week, my colleague Kami Wenning and our math coach, McKenzie Zimmerman conducted an informal morning PD session on the site Estimate 180. Kami has been using the site with her 3rd graders and the conversations around it have been astounding so they wanted to share the resource.

Estimate 180 is a website created by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel). According to his website, he is a middle school math teacher and coach. He began the site in October 2012 with estimating activities he uses with his students each day of the school year. 

After the PD, McKenzie and I talked about how I could use this site She facilitated the class while I transcribed and listened to her language with students.  She went through the 4 day Lego Estimations and I watched from the back of the room to learn what I could about how best to use this resource and to listen to and record my students' thinking.  The goals for the lesson were from the math practice--explaining your mathematical reasoning and understanding someone else's math reasoning. So that was the focus of the talk over the four days.

The conversations across days went so far beyond the typical estimation activities I've seen. The way that the site is built, the learning builds from one day to another and kids have information to build from.  The talk around numbers was incredible and the engagement was high.  Knowing the standards so well, McKenzie was able to take advantage of the last day's conversation to create a number sentence with a number to solve for.   I am finding that oral language and conversation is such a huge part of math learning and Estimate 180 definitely supports this.

There are so many amazing things about the Estimate 180 site. There is a huge variety on the site. So many math concepts are covered in the over 200 estimation activities on the site. In a few weeks, I am going to use a series of lessons designed around estimating height and I am looking at another that estimates the amount of money in coins.  You can browse the site or search estimations based on math topic.  I also love that these are multi-day activities that are built to help kids think across time and to use understandings from one day to solve the next day's challenge.

Mr. Stadel must think about estimation all day every day because so many of these estimations come from real, daily life and I think kids will start seeing estimation opportunities everywhere after a few weeks of these.

I loved this site so much that I just had to share. I am excited to jump into another estimation with my kids next week (Cheeseball Estimations) and see where the conversations go!

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