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Measurement


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Great Estimations
Author: Bruce Goldstone
Illustrator: Several photographers
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, LLC
Copyright: 2006
ISBN: 978-0-8050-7446-8
Number of Pages: 32
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3–4

Bright and colorful photographs help readers learn how to make great estimations using techniques such as eye training, clump counting, and boxing.  In eye training, readers practice looking at groups of 10, 20, 50, and 100 items to better estimate how many objects are in a given group.  Clump counting consists of visually dividing a group into clumps of, say, 10 objects each and then counting the number of clumps.  Boxing consists of counting the typical number of objects in a fixed area, or box, and then multiplying the average number times the number of boxes required to cover the whole population.  These techniques prepare the reader to make a great estimate of how many jelly beans are in a large bowl at the end of the book.

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How to Use This Book
Highlights and Insights
Related ORC Resources
Ohio Standards

 


How to Use This Book

  • This book can be used to introduce and/or supplement instruction on estimation.
  • Students could read the book in small groups then make, compare, and justify estimates made for the various examples in the book.
  • After reading this book, students could create their own estimation pictures by using one of the techniques discussed in the book. They could then challenge one another to estimate the number of objects in each picture.
  • This book could start a discussion regarding large numbers -- 1 million, 1 billion, 1 trillion, etc. Students could use the techniques to estimate what a million, billion, or trillion objects look like compared to each other, thus developing number sense as well as estimation skills.
  • The estimation techniques could be compared to other estimation techniques mathematicians and scientists use, such as ratio and proportion to measure tall objects and capture-recapture techniques to estimate populations.
  • For homework, the class could be asked to bring in a number of objects. The teacher could put all the objects together and have the class estimate the total number of objects using one of the strategies mentioned in the book.

Highlights and Insights

  • Most students have been exposed to a situation where they can win a prize by estimating how many objects are in a jar. Estimation is a hard skill to teach to students. This book offers easy to understand and usable techniques for making estimations. The colorful pictures encourage lively discussion around estimations.
  • The techniques in this book are good for developing number sense as well as for making estimates.
  • This book is a good vehicle for implementing mathematical discussions in the classroom as a large group, in small groups, or with partners.

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Ohio Standards

Measurement Standard
    Benchmarks (3-4)
    D. Identify appropriate tools and apply counting techniques for measuring side lengths, perimeter and area of squares, rectangles, and simple irregular two-dimensional shapes, volume of rectangular prisms, and time and temperature.
    Grade Level Indicators (3)
    7. Make estimates for perimeter, area and volume using links, tiles, cubes and other models.