Wednesday Workout

Our Wednesday Workout is about estimation, counting and comparing. As with our other blog activities this can be made accessible and or challenging to all primary students by pushing into fractions and percentages. We will use the image below to explain what we mean.

First, estimate, without counting, how many spots you think there are and why. For example:

“It looks less than 50 but I think more than 30 because I could see groups of about 5.”

Next, visually estimate whether there are more green or purple and say why.

Now the fun begins.

Cut a window in a piece of paper (actually make lots of windows of different shapes and sizes and if paper is in short supply old magazine pages work well) and see what you can frame.

For younger students ask:

“Can you frame a subitizable group (you know how many spots just by looking, no need to count)?”
“What number sentences can we make up?”

For example, 4 is 3 and 1 more, 5 is 3 and 2 more and so on, then push for flexibility:

“Is there a different way to show (make) 4?”
“What is the smallest/largest number of dots you can get in your window?”

For older students, the same windows could be described as fractions, for example:

“One out of 4 is purple, so a quarter are purple, and 3 quarters are green.”

When we look at the frame with 6 dots above there is an opportunity to work with sixths and the equivalent thirds, 4 sixths is the same fraction as 2 thirds. Change the window; make it bigger to increase complexity or change the rule:

“Frame 10 dots. What fraction of the frame is green? How do you express that as a percentage?”
“Try looping instead of framing. Can you loop 12 so that a half/quarter/third/sixth are green?”

Now the real fun! Create your own spot pictures using 3 colours or more.