We just finished our first full week of school. My class routine is catching on for my 6th graders. I like to start most days with an Estimation 180 picture and discussion. The students are enjoying the challenge and they are doing a better job of talking about their thinking each day.
Each year my team of teachers take our 3 classes to the nearby park during lunch and recess for a "getting to know you" picnic. It's our chance to see who has made new friends, what students hang out together and what students appear to be left out. When a group of students finished lunch they asked to go across the way to play kickball. I offered to supervise them, and off we went. When we got to the ball field, there was a huge pile of sand right on the pitchers mound. The die-hard kickball fans decided to play around the pile. One of my students went up to the mound, scooped up a handful of sand and said, "Hey Mrs. Wix, how many grains of sand do you think are in my hand? How many grains in the whole pile? We can make our own estimation 180 questions!" FIST-BUMP! We followed up with a conversation on how we could come up with a reasonable estimate. Talking math... during recess... on a Friday afternoon!