## Saturday, January 4, 2014

### Estimating and moving Toward Multiplication with Snowmen

I received a snowman and a snowflake paper punch for Christmas and got a little bit crazy with the snowman punch for school this week.  It went very well and I am planning on using the snowflake next week to do a similar project.  My Monday math literature post this week featured a book on estimation that I knew I wanted to use in several grades which led me to think about snowmen estimation.

Let me show you some of my creations
 I used about a quarter sheet of blue construction paper and attached several snowman with a glue stick.  I have been working with some kindergartners on subitizing small quantities.  At this point in the year, I want them to see something like this and know it is 4.
 I put more snowmen on some of the cards because I am also working towards getting K kids to estimate if a quantity is more or less than 10.  I flash the card and ask them if they saw more than 10 or less than 10.  Then I ask them about how many they saw.
 Another example of a card I used with the K kids.  This time there are more than 10 on the card.
 I used full sheets of construction paper to make some estimating cards for my first graders.  On this one, I might flash it and ask if there are more than 10.  When (if) they say yes, I might ask them if there are more than 20.  Once we have established a benchmark area, I will ask them about how many they think are on the card.  Then we can count and see how close we got!
 Another full sheet I used with first graders.  This time with more snowmen.  When first graders first see this many they love to guess 100.  I also used cards of this size with second graders this week who still need more work on making reasonable estimates.
 My second graders have started looking at equal groups and laying the foundation for multiplication.  I created some snowmen subitizing cards for them featuring equal groups and arrays.  I also used some of these with several third grade intervention students that still need more intensive work with multiplication facts.
 A look at a card featuring an array.  These are great to use to move kids towards laying the foundation for multiplication and getting a handle on basic multiplication facts.  I have use array and equal group picture cards all the time in the classroom and am working on a post in more detail so stay tuned!