Estimation Lesson
Estimation Lesson Plan

Abstract

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.

Number and Operation

Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates
• Develop and use strategies to estimate the results of whole-number computations and to judge the reasonableness of such results

Measurement

Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements
• Develop strategies for estimating the perimeters, areas, and volumes of irregular shapes

Student Prerequisites

• Technological:

Students must be able to:

• perform basic mouse manipulations such as point, click and drag
• use a browser such as Netscape for experimenting with the activities
Teacher Preparation

Have several different shapes taped off throughout the classroom

Students will need:
• paper and pencil.

Lesson Outline

1. Focus and Review
• Review any pertinent vocabulary.
• Have the students guess how many jelly beans are in a jar.

2. Objectives

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

3. 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.
1. 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.
• This part is optional:
• Have the students calculate their percent error.
• Examine the percent error calculations as a class.
• Discuss which estimation methods had the lowest percent error and why.
• Have the students open the More or Less Estimator applet
• Work through a few problems as a class, so that students can become familiar with the applet.
1. 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.
1. Closure
• Address any remaining questions the students have about the different estimating methods.
• Review with the students the various methods used when estimating.
Extensions and Modifications

• Because each of the estimation applets addresses a different type of estimation you may want to pause as a class to discuss the most successful estimation methods used with each applet.
• The difficulty level of these applets can also be easily adjusted by changing the difficulty setting.