Make learning how to estimate fun by using Shodor's computer applets. This lesson combines the use
of four different computer estimation applets with several classroom estimation activities.
Students can estimate arithmetic expressions, counting objects, length, and area.

Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will:

practice estimation with computation, counting, length, and area

Standards Addressed:

Grade 3

Estimation and Computation

The student determines reasonable answers to real-life situations, paper/pencil computations, or calculator results.

The student accurately solves problems (including real-world situations).

Numeration

The student demonstrates conceptual understanding of whole numbers up to one thousand.

Grade 4

Estimation and Computation

The student determines reasonable answers to real-life situations, paper/pencil computations, or calculator results.

The student accurately solves problems (including real-world situations).

Numeration

The student demonstrates conceptual understanding of whole numbers to ten thousands.

Grade 5

Estimation and Computation

The student determines reasonable answers to real-life situations, paper/pencil computations, or calculator results.

The student accurately solves problems (including real-world situations).

Numeration

The student demonstrates conceptual understanding of whole numbers to millions.

Grade 6

Estimation and Computation

The student determines reasonable answers to real-life situations, paper/pencil computations, or calculator results.

Measurement

The student demonstrates understanding of measurable attributes.

Grade 7

Estimation and Computation

The student solves problems (including real-world situations) using estimation.

Grade 8

Estimation and Computation

The student solves problems (including real-world situations) using estimation.

Grades 3-5

Measurement

Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements

Numbers and Operations

Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates

3rd Grade

Measurement

The student will demonstrate through the mathematical processes an understanding of length, time, weight, and liquid volume measurements; the relationships between systems of measure; accurate, efficient, and generalizable methods of determining the perim

3rd Grade

Numbers and Operations

The student will develop number and operation sense needed to represent numbers and number relationships verbally, symbolically, and graphically and to compute fluently and make reasonable estimates in problem solving.

4th Grade

Number and Operation

The student will develop number and operation sense needed to represent numbers and number relationships verbally, symbolically, and graphically and to compute fluently and make reasonable estimates in problem solving.

5th Grade

Number and Operation

The student will develop number and operation sense needed to represent numbers and number relationships verbally, symbolically, and graphically and to compute fluently and make reasonable estimates in problem solving.

Grade 3

Number, Operation, and Quantitative Reasoning

5. The student estimates to determine reasonable
results.

Grade 4

Number, Operation, and Quantitative Reasoning

5. The student estimates to determine reasonable
results.

Grade 5

Number, Operation, and Quantitative Reasoning

4. The student estimates to determine reasonable
results. The student is expected to use strategies, including rounding and compatible numbers to
estimate solutions to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.

Student Prerequisites

Technological: Students must be able to:

perform basic mouse manipulations such as point, click and drag

use a browser for experimenting with the activities

Teacher Preparation

access to a browser

paper and pencil

Teacher should tape several shapes throughout the classroom for students to estimate area. Also
prepare a jar full of jelly beans for students to estimate number of beans in the jar.

Key Terms

area

The number of square units needed to cover a surface

estimate

The best guess arrived at after considering all the information given in a problem

Lesson Outline

Focus and Review

Have the students guess how many jelly beans are in a jar.

Objectives

Students learn what estimation means and refine their estimation skills through several estimation
activities.

Teacher Input

After the students have had a chance to write down their guess, have them raise their hands,
so that you can call on a few students to explain the method they used to formulate their
guess.

The teacher should know the correct answers and hone in on those students giving the correct
answers.

Expand on students' methods and explain that these are forms of estimation.

Guided Practice

Have some pre-drawn or pre-taped shapes located around the room.

Have the students estimate the area of each shape in square ft and in square cm.

Work through a few problems as a class, so that students can become familiar with the applet.

Independent Practice

Have the students take turns using the
More or Less Estimator applet with a partner for about five minutes.

Once the students have had time to become proficient with the More or Less Estimator applet
have them work with the
Comparison Estimator applet for about five minutes.

Next have the students work with the
Estimator applet for five minutes.

Finally have the class spend five minutes playing
Estimator Four applet.

To ensure the students are on task you can circulate through the room monitoring their
progress.

You may also want to have the students copy a problem from each applet that they found
challenging.

Closure

Address any remaining questions the students have about the different estimating methods.

Have students discuss the various methods they used when estimating.

Suggested Follow-Up

Have students discuss how far their estimations were from the actual measurements.

Discuss which estimation methods had the most accurate estimations and why.