Estimation Presentation – MCTM 2019

Last week I co-presented at my state’s conference for the first time.  To say I was nervous, is an understatement.  I’ve never been good at presenting in front of my peers, but I knew that I wanted to challenge myself to do this.  And when Laura offered to let me co-present with her, I knew it was the perfect way to get my feet wet with this.  Laura is a PRO at presenting, and I was so thankful to have her help me through presenting for the first time.

When we decided on estimation for our topic, the nerves grew because this is an area that I know I need to continue to work on and felt unworthy to be able to present on.  When Laura and I met to talk about our presentation, I realized that while I do need to grow in this area, I still had things to contribute.


We started with a Stand and Talk using some of Sara Van Der Werf’s Math Fails.  People discussed what they noticed and wondered as well as how using estimation could have eliminated these math fails.

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Laura and I were thrilled people actually showed up as well as that adults were willing to participate in our stand and talk!

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We also did this Estimation 180 task in Desmos.  I love so many things about Estimation 180 -it pulls in so many other skills besides estimation including number lines and histograms.  I also love how students bring in their own personal experience to these activities and they use and apply prior knowledge because the activities build on each other.  You can find all of the Estimation 180 tasks here.

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Laura also shared how her students started creating their own Estimation 180 tasks.  Pictures of what they created are in our presentation linked at the bottom of this post.

One of the things Estimation 180 really did for me as a teacher was help start the conversation about estimation.  After using it, I started thinking of other ways I could incorporate estimation into my daily lesson plans.  I often found that when I was going through the standards, I would skim over the ones involving estimation assuming my students would just automatically do this.  It didn’t take long into my teaching career for me to realize I was wrong, and that I needed to teach students these skills.

I also realized after using Estimation 180 some that I don’t have to start at Day 1 and work my way through all 180 tasks.  I’ve found it worked well to do a 2-3 Estimation 180 tasks either all in one day or on consecutive days so that students could get the routine down.  After that, I do them less frequently but because students have the routine down, it doesn’t take as long.

Chase has created some Estimation 180 tasks in Desmos, and I also have a few here.


Then I shared how I use estimation to introduce multiplying decimals.  I talked about it in this post and there’s also a few pictures in the presentation.


Here are a few Which One Doesn’t Belong? prompts I would use with estimation.  I would give the prompt, “Using estimation, which one doesn’t belong?”

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Lastly, we talked about how estimation can be used in Math Talks and shared this prompt.

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Overall, the presentation went really well.  I was super nervous and was even more nervous when I knew friends were planning on coming.  However, when it actually came time to present, I was SO thankful for some familiar faces in the crowd.  So if you were there, THANK YOU!  I so appreciated your support and nods of encouragement during the presentation.

Here is the link to our presentation.

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