Great Estimations &
Greater Estimations

Great Estimations and Greater Estimations, both by Bruce Goldstone, are two excellent books for helping children learn to estimate. Both books start by showing what certain amounts look like (ie: 10 and 100 rubber duckies). The books then move on to provide spreads with different objects that students can estimate as well as strategies that students should try. For example:

  • How many penguins in a picture? (Estimation tip: mentally overlay a grid, count one box, then multiply by the number of boxes to determine estimate)
  • How many cherries in a quart? (Estimation tip: count out 10, then use that to estimate the amount)
  • How many bunnies in a picture? (Estimation tip: Find a clump of 10, then another clump, etc)
  • How many red blood cells in a picture? (Estimation tip: mentally draw a box, count the # inside...)

Great Estimations
A visually stunning book that makes teaching estimation fun and interesting. In the book, the left side of most spreads shows crisp photographs of objects in groupings of 10s, 100s, and 1000s. The right side then shows the same objects in an unidentified amount, leading readers to see how to use groupings when estimating.

SLJ promises "this well-designed book will add zing to many a math lesson."

Bank Street Children's Book of the Year!

Interest Level:  Gr. 2-5          Grade Equivalent: x.x           Lexile Measure: IG640L

Greater Estimations
This sequel uses the same format of eye-catching photographs and groupings of objects, but adds estimating length, weight, area, and volume. Different methods are discussed (clump counting, 'box and count') and clear explanations of how to achieve answers are given. In their review, SLJ applauded the  "appealing layout that lends itself equally well to browsing or curriculum support." 

A Cooperative Children's Book Center Children's Book Award winner!

Interest Level:  Gr. 2-5            DRA Level: 40                  Lexile Measure:710L
Grade Equivalent: 4.4            Guided Reading: Q

Peek Inside Great Estimations

Below are sample pages from inside these books. In the spread, readers are invited to estimate the number of jelly beans using clump counting or box and count. Hints are provided. On the right, readers are again invited to estimate the jelly beans using the suggested method of estimating the 'first layer' (smaller image) and then estimate how many layers there are.

And here is another sample estimation activity from inside this book:

And here is one sample page from inside
Greater Estimations  (sequel book).

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