Great and Greater Estimations - Math Mentor Texts

I love the library, I mean LOVE the library. Between getting books for my class, for me, for my daughters and their projects we have spent a lot of time over the last two weekends at the library.

Will perusing the non-fiction section for books on Ancient Japan (project reading - not pleasure reading) I ran across this book.

So I scooped it up, because I love me a math book! Then I saw this...

and I almost did a happy dance (only my daughter is 13 now and does not care for embarrassing mom moments). So I pulled it together and quietly took out these two books (and 50 other books too!).

Here is some of the awesomeness you will find inside.

Love the way it lays out how to make an estimation - these books would be perfect at the beginning of the year or really whenever, as estimation is a skill that we should be reinforcing throughout the year (as I learned while reading my math textbook for my math course).

That is right on top of the myriad of books we get from the library I am reading a book on teaching math for my math course. Guess what, I love it. Only there are tooo many ideas and I am already losing track of all the things I need to try or improve on for next year. But here is what I took away from the section on estimation:

*instead of asking for an estimation ask, Is it more or less than? Is this picture showing more that 25?
*ask, is it closer to # or #? Is this closer to 25 cm or 45 cm
*use the word about to help students learn what an estimate is - not a competition to get the right or closest answer but to develop an answer that is reasonable and as a class to develop an acceptable range
*be sure to use benchmarks when estimating measures - so that each time you measure an object they can use that benchmark to help them estimate
*give students extensive opportunities to associate numbers with the real-world, if students have had rich experiences counting, sorting, comparing and measuring real-world objects they will have a deeper understanding of a number and what it can represent

This last one really hit home for me because of a recent experience in my class. As you know I have been using a Answer and Question board in my classroom (read about it here).

Well, since we are working on measurement I put up the answer 17 cm and crickets. Students were stumped. They had a really hard time coming up with situations and problems that could lead to 17 cm. I knew that we needed more experience developing our understanding of 17 cm!!

Also, now that I love these books I am on the look out for this one for our probability unit...

There you have it, 3 math mentor texts to check out! Don't forget to check out Amanda and Stacia's Mentor Text Linky to pick up more great math book ideas!!


  1. Ohhhh...I definitely am going to check to see if we have this in our library or public library. Love the pictures in the book. I bet the kids will dig it too. I love doing embarrassing dances. Tell your daughter next time that you need to do this and she needs to take a picture for me! XO
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Hi! I have the jelly bean estimation book, but not the others! Thank you so much for sharing! Have a lovely week.

  3. I have the Great Estimations book but not the others. I'll definitely be getting them out at the beginning of next year. Measurement is so hard and noty favorite to teach for sure. My kids would have been stumped, too. I love the question answer board though!

    Y'all do spend a lot of time at the library but you always know the best books! Maybe I should go to the library. Anyway, thanks for linking up!


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