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Q&A #1154

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Front End Estimation

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From: Anthony Rogers

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2006102707:19:50
Subject: Front End Est.

The example given to justify using the Front End Estimation Method is flawed. The example was: "Here's an idea just quickly off the top of my head. If I were in a store, tallying the total quickly in my head as I went, and I had pruchases of 5.45,6.49, 7.48, 2.42, and 1.49, rounding would get me the answer to 5 + 6 + 7 + 2 + 1, or 21. With front end estimation I would add the whole numbers, getting $21, and then refine that estimate by noting that there are about $2.50 more there, for an estimate of $23.50. The actual sum is $23.33. Now, if I wasn't worried about the money I was spending, either method would do it for me. If I am trying to quickly get as close as I can to an amount, front-end estimation could be a quick way to do that." For one most items on store shelves are $ ?.99. Now let's apply that same logic and method. Purchases of $5.99, 6.99, 7.99, 2.99, 1.99 would equal a total of $ 25.95. Now using Front End Estimation your answer would be $5+6+7+2+1 = $21 and then the additional step of refining your estimate of adding $5 = $26. Now using basic rounding your answer would be $6+7+8+3+2 = $26. Now that's much easier isn't it. Okay, let's look at your example again. Why not just round to the 1/100th place and add them? This would give you the same outcome. Front End Estimation is a waste of time. I agree with the PTA member. We need to teach the kids good math skills. A person with good math skills wouldn't need FEE. FEE is lazy .

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