Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Place Value Batting Practice

We have been knee deep in place value over here in Room 5!  We're working our way through NBT.1, NBT.2, NBT.3, NBT.4, and venturing into NBT.5.  All these numbers and letters make me crazy... but we're getting the hang of the CCSS and how it works.

Let me share a lesson we did today and yesterday with NBT.3.  If you're already past this, save it for next year because it's a great and creative lesson for the students.  NBT.3 works with comparing place value to the nearest thousandth.  We talked in depth about first comparing the place farthest to the left of the decimal, and working our way right until we figured out which decimal was greater.  It takes a lot of practice, especially for the students who like to rush through their work.  They end up making a lot of silly mistakes that could be avoided had they just slowed down.  But none of us have those fast finishers, right?  They're all perfect and take their time....

I weaved in NBT.4, which is rounding to the said place (up to the thousandths place).  I have a lot of boys on baseball teams in my class this year, and a huge part of the Common Core is bringing the real world into the curriculum.  Well, they love baseball, I love baseball-- perfect opportunity!  We also have about a 50/50 split of Red Sox and Yankee fans in the room.  I'm a Red Sox fan, and my husband is a Yankee fan ( and I'm totally gloating because they are doing so stinkin' good and he's having a fit!!).

I used 5 current players' batting averages from the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets for this activity.

First, the students had to order the players, based on their averages, from least to greatest.  We then talked about if the newspapers rounded the averages to the hundredths place and how that would affect their ranking.  Additionally, we talked about if a player was out on an injury and how that would impact his ranking.  We made some generalizations about the data, and this led to a good discussion in itself about what the word generalizations meant.  There were a lot of "light bulb" moments in that generalization discussion.

Here's the best part.  They used the baseball data to make a bar graph on centimeter graph paper.  They had to work with a partner and really struggle to figure out such things like the scale, the order, the way they were going to set up their graphs, etc.  The scale definitely caused the most problems in the student's graphing.  They had to really think about a reasonable scale that allowed for all of the player's averages to fit on the graph.  It was also a great review of bar graphs, x and y axis, titles, and how to create a bar graph.

The end product was great!  They worked well together and all the pieces fell into place with the graphing activity and the place value work.  Love it when that happens! If you want a copy of the worksheet I used, you can grab it here.

(About the document above...I had a hard time embedding the google doc, and this was the best visual I could do.  If anyone has any pointers about that let me know!)

Here are some pictures of the students in action:

And I'll leave you with this little gem... and I quote, 
"Mrs. J, this is for you!  I spelled it with a 'k' on purpose.
"Wow, Noah! This is fabulous! Why the 'k'?"
{awkward pause...trying to think of a good reason for his misspelling...}
"It looked cool."
And then he swiftly did a 180 and returned to his seat.  It was awesome, and I now have a kobra hanging on my desk.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kristin! I LOVE the Red Sox AND we just started decimals in my classroom today. The kids are really going to enjoy doing this. Thank you for adding pictures so I can show them some examples also!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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