Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Estimating with Friendly Numbers

Hello Everyone!
We began a week long study of estimating this week. That is always a daunting skill for first graders, so our district decided to approach the concept a little bit differently.  We want the kids to understand what estimating is all about, but not using great quantities of things. Our wonderful Math Instructional Specialist suggested we teach our firsties about estimation through our ten frames and our number lines.  She also suggested we use what we call "Friendly Numbers." Friendly numbers are numbers kids are used to working with and that make sense to them. We are using friendly numbers  0, 5, 10, 15, and 20. 
I made some work mats on which the kiddos can work. I also found some cute little pumpkin gems to use as manipulatives, but you can use anything you have.  As a whole group we worked on taking a number, showing what that quantity would look like on a ten frame or a number line, and then thinking about which friendly number was closest.  That friendly number would be a good estimate  for what we were showing. The pictures show working up to 10, but tomorrow we will work on numbers through 20.  I also included number cards in my unit so you can put it in a math tub, which is what I'll do next week for extra estimating practice. 

If you would like your freebie-a 9 page mini unit- click here!

Mini unit contains 4 work mats, number cards and recording sheets.

Gotta go, Trick or Treaters are here!! 


  1. Thanks for the freebie! It's hard to teach estimation to firsties, so this will be a great help!

    Learning is for Superstars

  2. Hi!
    My name is Joana, I am 24 years old and I am from Portugal (next to Spain).
    I am a primary school teacher in a private college and this is my third year of teaching. Since last year I discovered many blogs like yours through “Pinterest”.
    I implemented some of your ideas and I am fascinated by your creativity, cooperation in classroom, independence and autonomy that you give to the children.
    I’d tried to do many things similar to yours but they were not always well accepted by my director and coordinator, because innovation makes a difference, and in making a difference insecurity is more than often created!
    I wonder if there’s any possibility to do an internship in your school, to learn and see, in practice, what I visualize in your blogs.
    I’d love to get an international experience for about one or two years in your country.
    My partner, Tiago, is also a teacher. He teaches English to Kindergarten and primary school children. He wanted to go to China but for me, it’s too far, and then there is the difference in the culture and language which would cause other types of adaption, which I feel would impede my spontaneity. He would love to learn new approaches and different strategies in his field.
    My e-mail is:, and I trust that you will be able to assist me in improving my educational skills. If it is necessary to give my contact to another person, please feel free to do so.
    With my best regards,
    Joana Fernandes


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