Rounding and Estimation, Day 3

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Students will be able to round 4-digit numbers to the nearest 1000s, and then use estimation to check sums, differences, and products.

Big Idea

Rounding and Estimation are quick and easy methods for checking the reasonableness of your work!

Language Objective and Prior Knowledge

Learning Objective: Students will be able to write numbers out in word form and say numbers in standard form, using correct vocabulary of place value terms.

Prior Knowledge: Place value and Number lines

It is important that students know "where they are going", so every day students see and hear their learning objective(s). When we get to the close of this, and every one of my lessons, students will be given a quick assessment. Initially I make sure they see the connection between the stated objective(s) and the assessment. As we move further into the year, I remind students of the connection so that they are aware, and can monitor, the development of their own understanding.

Math Blast - Lesson Activator

15 minutes

Math Blast Number of the Day 10

Math Blast is a quick, fun, fast-paced math game! It doesn't require a lot of materials - just the PowerPoint, music, white boards, and dry erase markers. I begin every day with a Number of the Day.

Math Blast is also a great place to work on Common Core skills, especially critical thinking skills, discourse and collaboration!

I usually play music while students are working (it is the "Blast" in Math Blast). They have to the end of the song to fill in their board.

In the beginning this is more time than most need, but they will use all of the time when the numbers get bigger. Math Blast is a great way to pre-teach a concept and is really good scaffolding, especially for those struggling learners. I like to add new concepts that will be learning in the near future into Math Blast. This way students are familiar with new concepts when I go to teach them. If they haven't figured out the work through Math Blast they will have at least seen the concept. 

I allow table mates to support each other, this is also a good way to support struggling learners.

The basic content my Math Blast covers is:

  • Begin with prior knowledge tasks, factoring GCF, LCM. In 5th grade this is really good to have understanding for going into fractions.
  • I always add some rounding and estimation, good tools to know and it is pre-teaching our next lesson.
  • I always like to end with a word problem to challenge and support students' skills in answering a problem with what the question is requesting them to do.


The closing piece of Math Blast is See, Think, and Wondering.

See, Think, Wondering

5 minutes

Number Patterns

I end Math Blast and lead into my lesson with a See, Think, Wonder. The art I choose always relates to the unit I am teaching.

See, Think, Wonder is a dynamic way to get your students to think deeper about a subject without them knowing that they are doing it.

The SEE part is pretty basic thinking. I see….

The THINK part is intended to get students to think about things in ways they haven't before. This is a fun way for students to make connection to the things we're learning in math. In my class, we'll be thinking about math and art.  I use art because I am passionate about art. Use examples of things that ignite your passion! This art makes me think about….

And the WONDER requires enough engagement with the topic (the art) to be able to come up with a question. This art makes me wonder if….

See, Think, Wonder is my way to getting their brains ready to think about math and I find that the transition is great. It is also a quick chance to expose my students to different types of art.

Note: I've added a See, Think, Wondering separate from the Math Blast in case you want to do it by itself. It is also attached at the end of the Math Blast PowerPoint.

Note: You don’t have to use art; I use art because I am passionate about art. Use examples of things that ignite your passion! 

Elevator Speech

10 minutes

I use a ‘teach, than practice, repeat’ approach to deliver the estimation for a quotient approach.

Estimation for a Quotient: Example 2356 ÷ 5 would be either 2000 ÷ 5 or 2500 ÷ 5. For finding a quotient you want to use multiples of the divisor to get your estimate.

Possible Story: Same candy factory as in the Rounding and Estimation, Day 2 Lesson. Over a week you made 2356 packages of "X" candy. Your boss wants to know you to help in the shipping department for a day. Your job is to take the 2356 packages, and divide them up into 5 separate deliveries. To make is easier you estimate that 2000 ÷ 5 would make about 400 per delivery!

Work It Out

40 minutes

Students create their own story problems to use estimation for a quotient. During this time I'm moving around the room, checking in on their work. My objective is not to "do their work", so when I find a student who is struggling I try to help them identify where they are mixed up. I do this with questions, such as, "Can you tell me how you started this problem?" What number(s) were the starting point? What is the relationship between the number(s) in your problem, and your starting point? Can you show me your original numbers on a number line, and your estimates?"

Sometimes students struggle to find a premise for a word problem. I encourage them to think about elements in "their world", such as athletics, the school cafeteria, the work that they see me (their teacher) doing (I have a lot of grades I have to put into the grade book), the work that their family members do, and more.

There is power in having students create their own word problems. Creating their own word problems helps gain strength in reading word problems. They can also give their problems to other students or create them in teams. It also allows students the chance to create work that they feel successful in solving. You can have students work individually or in their math teams (3-4 people). Creating work on over-sized posters is a fun way to display student work

As students finish work, have a classroom gallery walk. Have students take their notebooks and do the math. I like to take these posters to our main hall and have a real gallery walk. Taking the students out of the classroom gives it a more 'professional' feel!

Closing It

5 minutes

For today's closing, I have a quick class discussion on what worked, what didn't, successes and struggles with today's work. It is important to honor each student's experience with doing this project.

Closing is essential to bringing all the learning around the original objective.It gives students a chance to reflect on what they learned. Ending a lesson without a closing is an incomplete lesson and a missed opportunity.

Quick Assessment

5 minutes

The Post-It Poster

Give one problem each of estimating quotient:

487 ÷ 5 (450 or 500 ÷ 5 would work)

Students write their solution on a sticky note, and post it on the way out.

Look-Fors: Students that are unsure of what number to round or rounding to a number that won't work. Example: 487 ÷ 5 becomes 480 ÷ 5. While not incorrect it isn't any easier or quicker than the original problem.