Hoppe Ninja Math – Teacher Blog

Algebra Ideas

Celebrity Age Guessing Contest – From Dan Meyer

on October 13, 2012

So I know I have said it before, but I took a class at Stanford this summer that was taught by Dan Meyer.  One of the activities we did, was to guess the celebrity ages, and determine who was the best guesser.  I did it in class this past week and the kids loved it.  I couldn’t believe how many of them knew the name Betty White.

I have been wondering where I can put all these great problem solving ideas into my busy curriculum.  However, I saw in someone else’s blog comments, the suggestion to do it over a couple of days.  I thought I would give that a try because I had a couple of short lessons coming up, I could do half of a activity one day and finish it up the second day.  So Wednesday we did the first part of the activity, guessing the ages and writing down the actual ages.  I used this PDF (couldn’t get the powerpoint to come up well) from Dan Meyer’s website.  We had to recalculate the ages because the ages shown were a couple of years off.  This was good mental math…plus the fact some of them didn’t have a birthday yet this year.

Thursday we have very short periods, so no time to continue, but the students were asking about it.

Friday, we finally had time to finish it up.  It went almost perfectly the first time, then better the next 3 times (4 algebra classes).  I prepared a powerpoint of guided questioning based on Dan Meyer’s lesson (that contains older pictures than the PDF) , and we easily went through them.  The kids were so interested.

I have to say, I just chose this activity because when I saw it on the website, I remembered it was pretty easy for a first time activity.  I had totally forgotten it was about absolute value.  We are doing absolute value equations on Monday.  How perfect was that?!

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