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ERIC Number: EJ1160325
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Guess the Number of . . .
Housen, Monica
Mathematics Teacher, v11 n2 p198-199 Nov 2017
In this article, Monica Housen describes how she uses Guess the Number of . . . , a game that develops estimation skills and persistence to provide a fun, to provide a meaningful experience for her high school students. Each week she displays objects in a clear plastic container, like those for pretzels sold in bulk. Students enter a "guess" by Friday; she counts the objects over the weekend and reveals the "actual' number on Monday. On the surface, this seems like any other guessing game. But as it became harder to tear students away from the jar to start class, she realized her students were engaged in mathematical argument over how to accurately estimate the number of items in the container. There is no failing at this activity, each new game is an opportunity for students to practice what they have learned. After a few rounds, they make predictions about their progress. At the end of the year, students graph their accuracy to see the development of their estimation skills. The deeper conversations that this game promotes pushes students to be metacognizant of their own learning. Beyond persistence, estimation, and volume, the game has tremendous impact. Students actively engage in sense making, predicting the accuracy of their estimates, explaining their reasoning, listening to and critiquing their classmates' logic, and adjusting their approach to the problem.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A