Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lights, Camera, Estimate!

Readers know that Andrew Stadel's estimation180 site has had a tremendous influence on our teaching practice.  Thus far we've concentrated our efforts in grade 4.  We have of course mined Andrew's site, and Theresa and I have created our own activities, but in order for us to build up a stock-pile to use with other grade levels, we've needed some help.  After reading about Jonathan Claydon's amazing "Estimation Wall", I realized we had a work-force right here in house: the fourth graders! So I had Jeff put his Newhouse degree to work setting up our own "Estimation 180 Studio".  He helped me design a proposal sheet:

We made these available for the kids to describe their tasks.

Jeff and I felt that it was important that the student(s) who wrote the proposal also compose and take the actual shots.  Here is a final product:
The question.

The reveal.

In this proposal, the student visualized the tissue box, "with one sticking out."

Many students want to use video.  Unfortunately, our studio is not very high tech (No-tech, really.  It's my room and an ipad.) And we do not have Andrew's videography skills.  For example, when I explained to the student who submitted the tissue proposal that it would take too long to film her counting out all 144 tissues, she said, "You can just speed it up!"   Well, no.  At least not yet.

We decided to alter the proposal, using a post-it rather than a notebook as a referent.

We have managed to pull off some videos.  "Erasers in a Cup" took four takes!

IMG 0967[1] from Joe Schwartz on Vimeo.

IMG 0957[1] from Joe Schwartz on Vimeo.

We have more in the production pipeline, and one of my goals this summer is to improve my video skills.  Involving the kids in the process is a win-win: they get a chance to create, we build up a bank of tasks to use with other grade levels, and everybody walks away happy!


  1. Super excited to see this! Love, love, love that you are developing these with kids as the creatives. Amazing. Thanks for always making me think.

  2. Your welcome! This post earned me an "estimation 180" sticker from Andrew, which is quite a badge of honor.

  3. Thanks for leading the way, Joe and Grade 4! I look forward to comparing notes on how this develops!