Posted by: jwhiff | July 25, 2018

The Numbers!

Show students the raw numbers randomized in a list. Their first job is to simply organize and break these numbers down a little.

Here are some tasks to build number sense:

  • Order them.
  • Provide word forms.
  • Expand them.
  • Explain the place value of each digit.
  • Represent them using blocks, base 10 material or paper.

I wouldn’t necessarily get your students to do all of these tasks all of the time.  Some of them are necessary (ordering, word forms), but others can be used as you see fit.

Handy tip: after students have built the numbers, they should take a photo with their devices and link it to their work.

Game Time!

Once the kids feel comfortable with the numbers, they’ll need to determine the topic. This is where your experts come in. If you like, play a little 20 questions as a class. The experts can only answer yes or no to these questions. Keep going until the topic is uncovered!

You can play teachers vs kids for points.  If they hit 20 questions without guessing the topic, the teacher takes a point for every question over 20.  Kids get points for the number of questions left until they reach 20 questions.  I would introduce integers this way.  Everyone starts at zero.  Kids points have a positive value, teacher points have a negative value.  Track points using two different number lines.  Kids know how many point they have by adding the negative points to the positive points.  Anyway, a little friendly competition is always fun!  Keep track of the points over time. You determine the prize (I like a fun game outside).

Story Details!

Once the topic is uncovered, the kids need to revisit the numbers. Any thoughts on what these numbers are describing? The kids can brainstorm in groups.  Compare ideas in a class discussion.  Dollars? Grams? Might some numbers actually represent percentages? What makes the most sense? Again, you can play for team points.  The class can decide how certain they are about their answer.  Very certain? They can risk a larger number of team points.  Not as certain?  Risk fewer.  If they are wrong, the teacher collects what the class risked.  Get your expert to reveal the unit!


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