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Topic: Number Sense and Computational Fluency
Replies: 92   Last Post: Jul 24, 2008 5:09 AM

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Melissa Mohan

Posts: 3
Registered: 12/3/04
Data investigation: Looking at Mystery Data
Posted: May 8, 2001 12:14 PM
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While investigating the mystery data, my students needed to make
conversions between the inches to feet.Fortunately, I had some
students who were able to explain this process quite fluently and
after repeated use of this during the series of Mystery Data, other
students were able to refer to examples in our room to help them
convert. I allowed the students the chance to use encyclopedias and
fact cards to search for possible solutions to the mysteries (these
listed heights & lengths in feet). The first few mystery datas used
lower numbers and it was easier for the students to make theories as
to what the data could be.

Student Sheet 7, Looking at Mystery Data, had numbers in the
thousands. This is in inches! We discussed what we knew these living
things could not be, and then we decided that we should convert them
to feet to make our job a little easier. The first step that someone
suggested was to make an estimate. They rounded the lowest number to
an easy number to work with, and then they thought about how many 12s
it would take get to that number. We repeated this process with the
largest number. During this the students used some great
multiplication strategies to get them to their final estimate. They
came up with a range based on the estimates, and they used this to
help them come up with some ideas on what these things could possibly
be. I was very impressed with their ability to problem solve their
way through this difficult set of data, while keeping track of which
concepts would apply during which process. We found that it was
sufficient for our purposes to use an estimate. I was very happy at
the results and they had an easier time making predictions as to the
group of living things that were represented. Wonderful stuff that
motivates all of us!




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