Fun activity reinforces concepts of estimation, number lines, mean, median, and mode.
estimate, estimating, mean, median, mode, average, number line
This is a fun activity that reinforces many math skills. You could do this activity once a week to reinforce skills related to estimating, creating a number line, and/or calculating the mean, median, and mode of a series of numbers.
Introduce an "estimate-the-number of" jar. Any jar or glass container will work well. Fill the jar with peanuts (in the shell), M&Ms, crayons, gummy candies, small toys, crayons, or any other convenient item or product. You might give students a day or a week to guess-timate the number of items in the jar.
Provide each student with a sheet of paper. (This activity is a good one for making use of scrap paper -- leftover sheets of paper that are printed on only one side. If the paper is 8-1/2 x 11 inches in size, cut it in half.) Each student uses a crayon or marker to write his or her estimate on the paper. Encourage students to write their estimates on the paper in large and bold print.
When all students have written their estimates of the number of items in the jar, have them line up side-by-side around the room, in the hallway, or outdoors. Have them hold up their boldly written estimates so their classmates can see them. Have students arrange themselves into a "human number line" from the lowest estimate to the highest one. (You might challenge them to do without saying a word to each other.)
Next, at some grade levels, you might reinforce math skills by having students identify and record
Finally, reveal the actual number of items in the jar and determine
This is a fun activity to repeat on a weekly basis to reinforce the concepts of range, mean, median, and mode. It also helps students develop their skills of estimation. Change the item in the jar each week.
If you use this as a weekly activity, you might have students work on their own to identify the mean, median, mode, and range of the numbers on the week's number line of estimates. Have them write their responses on a small slip of paper; use that paper to give a quiz grade. You might give the student whose estimate is closest to the actual number a "free night of homework" pass or a certificate good for 10 points on the next quiz or test.
Lesson Plan SourceEducation World
MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES Pre-K - 2
NM-NUM.PK-2.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.PK-2.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena
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This lesson was originally posted on 08/29/2005