When I began teaching it quickly became apparent to me that many of my computationally most proficient students, my students with the greatest prior knowledge, and my students who did the best on in-class work were lacking a basic understanding of common units of measure. I had students who could do complex calculations, and who had committed to memory detailed information, but who could reasonably estimate the weight of a rock or the length of a table.
Thus the Estimate It!s were conceived. In my math classes I begin with a math fact drill. In science classes I decided to begin with either an estimating activity or a measuring activity. The measuring activities are listed separately as Measure It!s.
These activities often require you to choose an object or distance to measure. Several of them require you to draw a line or shape on the board at the front of the class. As these will vary, there is no answer key provided. What this does allow is for you to join your students in the activity, and to model measuring to check the accuracy of your estimate. I include on the Estimate It!s a place to record both the students’ estimates and the actual measurement. I do not correct these as I do the Measure It!s, but I do ask the students to reflect on the accuracy of their estimates and adjust as the year progresses. My expectation is that by the end of the year students will be able to estimate in various U.S. and Metric units.
What you get here is over 40 Estimate It!s ready for photocopying. Many are ready to go, but others will require you to collect the material to be estimated, so be sure to have a look at the upcoming form before using it. All of the material is generally available, but you may need to gather it before class.
All of the files are in Word (.docx) only. This will allow you to make any modification to the text to suit your needs. Most are two per page to save paper and need to be cut in half.
The units include length, area, perimeter, weight, time, and number of items.