I have a small math class of 10 students learning a mix of Algebra 1 and 2. We have been doing Estimation180 every day so far of the school year. At first, the students were wondering why we were doing this. Then, they were getting really good at it. They like the ones that relate back to one we have already done and know the answer to so we can make a better prediction.
I thought it would be fun to do our own Estimation Station towards the end of the school year. I saw on Twitter or Facebook, "Are you counting down to the end of the school year or preparing for the big finale?" So, I am trying to think of it as a grand finale.
I wanted the kids to take some ownership and come up with 3 stations we could do during our lunch block this Friday. We can have students in 1st and 2nd lunch write their predictions on a piece of paper. They brainstormed a bit but we didn't have anything all of us could agree on, so I mentioned something I saw on the internet. What about :
"How many rubber bands does it take to make a watermelon explode?"
They were all interested, diving into it and we are going to do it.
But, I wanted two more ideas. Anything after that seemed boring. I suggested having an ear of corn and asking how many kernels = lame.
We thought about candy and came up with not just "how many pieces of candy are in the jar?", but we are going to do "How many yellow and purple skittles are in the jar?"
And, the last one will be a 2 liter of Coke and a plastic cup. We will put a little less than half of the Coke in the cup (which will have a line marked on it) and ask "How many cups can we fill to the line?"
They wanted prizes. They are thinking about collecting money for a Dunkin Donuts gift card on the watermelon one. The Skittles jar would be that prize. Not sure what we are doing for the soda - maybe they win the soda?
Once we had our 3 stations, we brainstormed materials. We are going to set up outside on picnic tables and will use plastic tableclothes, papers and pens for the guesses, 3 containers for the guesses.
For the watermelon station, we need one watermelon, lots of rubber bands.
For skittles, we need skittles and a jar.
For soda, we need cups and soda.
I reached out to a science teacher to see if we could borrow goggles and ponchos or aprons, so we will take a field trip downstairs tomorrow to get those.
I emailed our TV/Film teacher to see if he might be available and interested to videotape it for us. He came and visited the class on Friday to discuss what we were going to do. He is going to try and get some video of my students asking the other students what their guesses are. Then, we will set up for the watermelon. He needs to figure out how to set up the cameras to get different angles. He also needs to figure out how to keep his equipment clean.
Tomorrow in class, after we visit the science teacher, we will make a few posters to advertise it to the school so they know about it at lunch time. And, then we need to make individual signs for each station. We will also assign who will be working at each station.
I need to talk to the custodian and give him fair warning. It really does explode if you watch the videos online and we will clean it up, but I don't think he will be happy if he is surprised.
And, now I am off to order the rubber bands. I am predicting it is going to take a lot, so I will order from Amazon.
The kids are excited and invested in it. It is going to be our first HOT week at school so it will be good to have something to focus on.
My plan for after the stations is to have the students total each of the station's results and we will draw some conclusions, maybe make some graphs, not sure.
Check back next week for Watermelon updates!