Help Build Math Skills: Estimation Center

Children will develop their skills of estimation and prediction by measuring and guessing the amounts of various materials.

What this activity will develop:
Math, thinking and science skills

What you'll need:
• Shoe boxes
• Dry ingredients (dried beans, Cheerios, pasta, candy pieces, birdseed)
• Marker
• Plastic milk jug
• Utility knife
• Three clear jars (same size and shape)
• Poster board
• Measuring cup
• Paper
• Pencil

What to do:
1. Place each ingredient in a shoe box, and label the box with a marker.

2. From the milk jug, cut a scoop with a handle.

3. Print the directions for the center on the poster board.

4. Place the materials in the center, and post the directions where everyone can see them.

1. Choose any three ingredients.

2. Use the scoop to fill each jar with one ingredient.

3. Estimate the number of cups of the ingredient there are in each jar. Write down the estimate.

4. Use the measuring cup to count how many cups are in each jar. Put the ingredients back in their boxes.

5. Compare the actual number of cups to the number that was estimated.

6. Write down what you found out about the number of cups in each jar.

7. Try the same thing with three different ingredients.

Other uses:
Use three containers that hold the same amount but have different shapes. Fill the containers with the same ingredient, make estimates, and then measure with the cup.


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