Looking for a new and super fun math task for your students? Try an esti-mystery to combine meaningful estimation practice with number sense building! Grab this set FREE for grades K-2.
My kids and I have been using a new set of math challenges that everyone LOVES! It’s called an esti-mystery and typically they come from Steve Wyborney. But thanks to his course, I have learned how to create my own, especially for my kids. So today, I want to share a simple and FREE set of esti-mystery challenges for grades K-2 with you! This set is meant to be a super simple introduction, which you can use with even your youngest ones. So if the idea of an esti-mystery is new to you, this will hopefully be a good place to start, with pretty simple clues and numbers that are less than 50.
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How Does an Esti-Mystery Work?
Basically, you begin with a picture of a jar full of objects (like the slide you see below). Kids start by making their best estimate for the total number of objects and discussing it with a friend.
You then give them a clue, which will tell them a little more about the total number and help them to narrow down the possible answers.
You continue providing clues and they adjust their estimates until it’s time for the big reveal.
I will be honest…the anticipation and excitement leading up to the big reveal is one of the best parts! Kids truly love the excitement of the “mystery” and the challenge to not only figure out the true amount, but also justify their reasoning.
Want to learn more about these challenges? Read 5 Amazing Benefits of Esti-Mystery Challenges in Your Classroom
FREE Esti-Mystery Challenges for Grades K-2:
This set of “unifix cube mysteries” doesn’t involve super complex math skills within the clues. The main skills are understanding the difference between even and odd, addition and more than/less than.
I wanted you to be able to either use these with kids in the early grades (since a lot of esti-mysteries are for older kids) or use these as an introduction for what esti-mysteries are and how to complete them.
There are 5 mysteries included, each in their own powerpoint presentation.
To use them, you will need to open one of the files in powerpoint and “view slideshow.”
Alternatively, you can use the slides with google slides if you don’t have access to powerpoint.
You begin by downloading the powerpoint file, and saving the file in google drive. Then open the file with google slides and “view and present” from there.
Then you simply guide your students through the estimation process, revealing one clue at a time, and allowing students time to think about the clue and adjust their estimate as necessary.
Please note: when you request this set of powerpoint files, you will receive all 5 in a zip file. When you open the zip file on your computer, you’ll be able to access all 5 powerpoint files.
Create Your Very Own Esti-Mysteries with Ease:
If you love the idea of using esti-mysteries, but would like to incorporate more advanced math skills perfectly suited for your students, you will LOVE Steve’s course!
I purchased this course when he first shared it, because I love learning new ways to teach and explore math. I was so blown away by how thorough and thoughtful the course is. Not only is is packed with tips for how to take pictures that work well and save time creating clues, but it helped me to better understand what makes a mystery beneficial to kids’ math learning.
I quickly went through almost the entire course in one sitting, because I was so excited about all the possibilities!
Although Steve has lots of esti-mysteries available free, you know your students best. You know what skills they need to work on, and what math vocabulary they need more practice and familiarity with.
Plus, once you can create them yourself, you have an endless supply of rich, engaging math tasks you can use with your students.
Plus, receive these exciting bonuses:
- Set of 77 esti-mysteries you can use with your students, all in one file
- Set of 50 photos to use to create your own esti-mysteries (this is probably the most valuable bonus! Use these photos to create your own clues, perfect for your students, and save time! There’s no need to gather materials and take photos if you use these-they are set up in the template, ready for you to add clues…see an example below)
- 6 clue template (the ready to use template is a HUGE time saver, and if you want more clues, you can use this one!)
- Horizontal templates (for horizontal pictures, with 4 clues and 6 clues)
And of course, be sure to grab the FREE set of esti-mystery challenges for Grades K-2 below!
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