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Q&A #1154

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Front End Estimation

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From: Loyd <loydlin@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001102907:34:13
Subject: Re: Front End Estimation

On 2001102821:21:21, Beth/New York wrote:
>My 4th grader got an F on his math test because he got so confused
and
>frustrated with FEE. He was confused because he did not want to seem
>as if he were rounding instead of employing the FEE method.  e.g.
>345+556 -he put 300+600 =900. He then erased the answer thinking he
>should have 300+500.  His confusion continued - 7851+2449 - should it
>be 7000 + 2000 or 8000 + 2000 ??  He erased all his answers and so
got
>a failing grade.
>
>I tend to agree with the PTA member.  Rounding is easier and makes
>more sense.
>

It looks to me as if you are rounding to the Most Significant Digit
(MSD).  Instead of telling the kids to use Front End Estimation tell
them to, Round to the Most Significant Digit.  If they get that right,
then tell them that some people call that Front End Estimation.

Sometimes it is useful to have a "Ball Park" estimation to make sure
you didn't have an answer that is ten times to much or ten times to
small.  However, I never heard the term Front End Estimation until a
few years ago.  

The above example is a case of a teacher teaching the words but not
the concept.  




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