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For this reflection I am using an exploration I wrote (trying to!) following the Curiosity Pathway called “How to win at fetes”, based on a task called Counting Sweets from the nRich website. The learning goals are related to the concept of Estimation.
Learning Intention: To explore estimating concepts, using the example of the fairground favourite, “Guess how many lollies are in the jar?”
* Explore rounding, and consider the effect of rounding to different place value
* Explore how rounding makes estimation easier, but prevents us from getting an exact answer
* Explore a 3D array as a way of calculating volume
I’m happy to provide the full lesson plan but rather than write it all out here, the lesson basically explores ways of estimating how many lollies are in a jar.
A: Attention: I find anything involving food is already an attention grabber for Year 7s! There’s an element of competition and reward involved too. I also hope to get their attention through the use of the curiosity Pathway – withholding info, partial reveal etc.
G: Generation: All students will have some prior knowledge or experiences to connect to. Almost everyone has entered a ‘guess the lollies in the jar’ competition at some point, and students will be keen to share their experiences and their ‘winning strategies’ with each other. The task starts off easily enough that all students will feel like they have a strategy that would be good enough to get them within a reasonable ballpark figure.
E: Emotion: as previously mentioned, the idea of maybe winning a jar of lollies will create pleasurable excitement and anticipation for most students. Element of reward and a bit of competition. Feeling like they can have at least some success in getting close to the ‘answer’ – feeling of competency. Feeling of familiarity with the situation. Positive feedback from teacher and peers as they work on their strategies can build feelings of confidence and competency. Autonomy is provided in letting them choose their own methods of working & representing. Social interaction – lots of chances to engage in maths talk with teacher & peers.
Spacing – this is the first exploration in this mini unit on specifically presenting and discussing estimation techniques and the other concepts listed in the learning intention, but estimation is used throughout the year so will be many opportunities to cycle back. Also opportunity to informally introduce the concept of volume using a 3D array which will be returned to in Term 4.