This four-problem challenge activity was originally created for students in the non-accelerated mathematics track. One of its purposes was to offer more meaningful measurement practice for students who are not proficient in measuring. However, a more important aspect of this assignment was to illustrate the importance of mathematics reasoning, which in these problems, saves time as well as providing more accurate responses. These students are also exposed to the insightful solutions through class discussions that they have seldom encountered in any of their other mathematics classes.
I was amazed by these non-accelerated students’ positive responses and enthusiasm to ideas that they had not encountered previously. Consequently, I now offer this same challenge activity in some of my advanced classes with similar positive responses.
Although I teach at a high school, I do believe that comparable results would be obtained if this activity were presented to gifted and talented classes at the elementary or middle school levels.