Estimation: A Powerful Skill

Why is estimation powerful? Students that can estimate have better number sense, problem solving abilities, and can judge whether an answer just "makes sense." I would say that makes them pretty powerful when it comes to math. All of my students could benefit from beefing up their estimation abilities!

I have found a few resources that I plan to use together to bring estimation to life in my classroom. The added bonus is that students find this super FUN! Also, if you are familiar with the SAMR model  for using technology in education, this activity is definitely "above the line" in the transformation area.

I found some great estimation activities (with videos) on this blog, Estimation 180. I am using it along with a interactive tool called Active Prompt

It works like this:
1. Find estimation problem on Estimation 180
2. Take screen shot of question and upload to Active Prompt.
3. Give students the link to active prompt and their warm-up is to drag the red dot to their estimation.
4. Show class the estimations on the teacher link in Active Prompt
5. Show first part of video revealing answer in Estimation 180.
6. Pause video as students start to see if they are right or not... let them revise by moving their dot
7. Show teacher link in Active Prompt again
8. Anticipation builds. :)
9. Play end of video
10. Fun!

One thing that makes this a little cumbersome is that I need a unique Active Prompt for each class because there is no way to "reset" the red dots. It also is quite a few steps to take the screen shot, upload, and add the unique web address to the student's eChalk page so they can have access. But overall, it is worth it for the fun and novelty of the exercise. I plan to try it once a week.


  1. Nice idea Annie! Bummer that each class needs its own unique link. Oh well, the price for engagement :)

    1. Thanks for visiting the blog, Adam! I tried another one with my classes yesterday and it went well too... I'm getting faster at creating the link, so maybe it won't be too much of an issue after all.


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