Howdy peeps, how are you all doing?
I think you’re really going to like this activity (it is not a “product,” it is an activity) and if you paid the royal sum of $3.95 for it, you should consider it a bargain: it represents the work of someone who has 30 years of pre-K through college mathematics behind him, so you know it’s good for your kids.
This activity is based on the idea that in order to embed concepts you have to develop “rich associations” between them. That is, when the student “sees” the number, he/she should relate it to a lot of different things. In this activity, which you can do as a “starter” during each and every one of your classes, you give your class a decimal to the hundredths (or you could do tenths, to freak your kids out....) and then they can express the number in lots of different ways.
This means shading pieces (“ones” are flats, “tenths” are rods and “lil’ cubes” equal hundredths), identifying how many of each piece there are, write it as they hear it, and express it as fractions and money. Oh, and I also have them graph it on a number line (you wouldn’t believe that if asked a student to explain which two whole numbers you would find 4.05, they would look in some weird places!)
The second page does the same thing, but expands the number, AND asks them to use the number in a context (“Tell A Story!”) This is included because we want students to understand that these are more than just “numbers” - these are actual quantities, that could represent all different types of quantities, like 3.05 meters, 3.05 degrees, 3.05 minutes, 3.05 kilograms, $3.05, or a grade point average of 3.05.
If you have other ideas for what can be included on this activity, please let me know: I think it’s really cool and gets your kids thinking. I’m going to expand this to other areas in the future, so keep your eyes open and download the “updates” as they come.
I’ve also included the “original” Our Daily Number, which is designed for younger students to express whole numbers in different ways. Share it with your colleagues!
If you’d like to learn more about the idea of “concept rich mathematics,” you really should pick up this book by Meir Ben-Hur (yes, that’s his real name) which goes into much deeper detail about how to do this. You can see it at http://www.amazon.com/Concept-Rich-Mathematics-Instruction-Foundation-Reasoning/dp/141660359X. It’s a great read!