Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
Estimation is an important math skill because it allows for a reasonable guess before something is actually measured or counted. Coming “close enough” to the actual number is a real accomplishment, and part of higher quantitative thinking. Developing your child’s sense of estimation goes beyond school math—it’s a life skill.
As adults we are constantly estimating. How long will it take to get there? Do I have enough coins for the parking meter? Will that size sweater fit Dad?
Here are some great ideas for fun estimating during the summer, using common household items to help your child become a good at it.
Start simply with one or two of these items. Then mix it up any way you and your child would like.
Items that can be used include:
Use any of the items above to present a question that needs solving, such as:
After your child has estimated how many items are needed to complete a task, or how long something takes, count and work the solutions out together.
Estimation is important for critical thinking and reasonable responses. Have fun practicing because the more young children can refine their estimation skills, the higher they develop number sense.