Reflection: Complex Tasks Pumpkin Problems: Estimates to Actuals - Section 4: Explore


Digging into pumpkins is a highly engaging activity for my third grade students! It may be a bit messy and take more time, but the trade off is the excitement it brings to student learning. It is well worth doing!

Some areas you may want to consider when doing this lesson is having multiple scales. Also, I recommend using actual balance scales (perhaps from science) rather than using bathroom scales because those limit the hands on opportunities in weighing.  With a bathroom scales, students aren't deriving a "weighing" experience, they are deriving bare data.

One positive element in using the bathroom scales occurred when one group of students figured out it was easier to stand on the scale without the pumpkin, and then stand on the scale with the pumpkin and subtract to determine the weight of the pumpkin.  This improved their efficiency in completing the the tasks within the lesson.  

Extra adults (e.g., parents) helping in the classroom is key to the success of this lesson. 

  Student Engagement
  Complex Tasks: Student Engagement
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Pumpkin Problems: Estimates to Actuals

Unit 2: Subtraction
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: SWBAT estimate, round, and subtract using a place value strategy of breaking apart numbers into tens and ones.

Big Idea: Critical to mathematical success is developing the sophistication of students’ strategies simultaneously with the teaching and application of key mathematical knowledge.

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pumpkin estimation and
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