Last year, my co-teacher and I used Estimation 180 as our daily warm-up for class. We then expanded it into a project where students made their own series of estimation slides (this was inspired by suggestions from a Twitter exchange) and then students ran the warm-up procedure with their own slides. Below, I’m breaking down how each part went, and what we hope to change and add in this year.
DAILY ESTIMATION 180 WARM UP PROCEDURE
1. Students come into room, get binder, open to their Estimation 180 recording sheet.
2. Students respond to the estimation projected on the board by completing the day, description, too low, too high, my estimate, and my reason columns (timer is set for 2-3 minutes). This is supposed to be independent (or #oyo – on your own – as we tag it in my class), but I don’t get too stressed if students are talking about it. I like that they’re excited.
3. At our school, we use Cooperative Learning Structures (CLS) that were developed by Kagan. We use either a timed pair share or a timed round robin and students share with each other their estimate and their reason (often they also like to share their too low/too high). This gives everyone a chance to share (about 2 minutes).
4. I take a few answers from the whole group. I push them on their reasons, having them identify and say whether or not they used prior knowledge and/or context clues. I like to get them thinking beyond “it looks big” and think about why it looks that way based on the context (big and small being such relative ideas). I also remind them about using units of measure. For example, if we’re measuring something, students will say, “I think it’s 2.” And I’ll say, “2 peanuts?” And everyone will giggle and the student says, “No! Inches.”
This actually happened yesterday. We have a new student who is from Jamaica, and uses the metric system. And the students were totally thrown off. So we had to talk about that.
5. So then, I say, “drum roll please.” All the students drum their desks. As the year goes on, we do finger rolls (drum rolls with just one finger) and other types of drum rolls. They really love drum rolls. Apparently, 8th graders don’t get to make loud noises enough.
6. I reveal the answer to various responses throughout the room. Usually, “awww, I was only __ off” or “nooooo” or “yesss!”
7. We then calculate our error and percent error. Students get 2 minutes to do this and can use calculators.
YEAR LONG TRAJECTORY
So, for the first two months, I use Andrew Stadel’s work on the Estimation 180 website and I facilitate the procedure. Last year, I did this throughout the entire year until the end when the students presented their own (in the same format as above – they have to lead the CLS and everything).
This year, I’m going to have them lead the ones that are pre-made (starting around November, so that everyone gets a chance to practice presenting. They’ll get the task sheets with the parameters for making their own in January. They’ll have time to make their own, and then we’ll start students presenting those. Last year, we had students choose one of their slides to present. This was great, but they didn’t really get to see the progression that some students had built into their presentations. But, I don’t have 30 weeks to give each student all 5 days. So…maybe I’ll have them choose 2 slides? Or maybe we’ll post them around the school and let students try estimating. Or! Maybe, at least in my co-taught class, I’ll have them present to the 6th or 7th graders….that would be cool.
Here are some of the resources that we created last year: