I did this estimating and counting routine with a group of second graders who need a bit more practice with some early numeracy ideas. I also knew that they would be beginning to work on counting by 25's in class as they got into their money unit and wanted to give these 5 kids a head start on this idea.
To do this counting and estimating routine, I used my bucket of buttons. Kids love using these for math because they are super engaging and you can keep adding to your set as you find unique buttons. I have even had kids bring in more buttons to add to the collection. I also read them The Button Box when we first start using the buttons.
|I dumped out what I estimate to be more than 125 but less than 200 buttons. It took me some practice to be able to do this because the tiny buttons can make it tricky!|
I then pulled 10 buttons aside and asked kids to think about if this is 10, how many are there alltogether.
|After doing this, I let kids adjust their estimate if they wanted to.|
|Here is a look at each student's initial estimate and their adjusted estimate. As you can see most students increased their estimate after seeing what a pile of 10 looked like but one kid actually decreased their estimate.|
I then asked the kids to think about how many we could each take from the pile without running out. They looked very unsure so I did some further prompting.
"Is there enough for us to each take 10?"
"Is there enough for us to each take 20?"
"Yes!" (I thought this was funny since none of them estimated the quantity was over 100 yet they were sure that we could each take 20. Six of us at the table X 20 each = 120.
"Is there enough for us to each take 30?"
(mixed words of uncertainty)
"So if there is enough for us each to take 20 but you are not sure there is enough for us to each take 30, how many should we each take?"
"yeah 25 sounds good"
Hmmm.... let's see, one of my goals for this lesson was to introduce the idea of counting by 25's and here I have a few students suggesting that we each take 25. BRILLIANT!
We decided to each take 25. We briefly talked about how to take about 25 into our own area and then quickly count and confirm how many were actually there. We also talked about taking turns and not grabbing. Then I turned them lose to each take 25.
|Kids working on taking 25 buttons|
|One student's collection of 25 buttons|
|A student lined up the remaining beads and counted them by 2's. I had another student do it after to check her work, and of course give one more student some practice with this skill!|
Stay tuned for more in my counting and estimating series.
Ready to read more? Check out part 1, part 2 or part 3!