Sunday, December 2, 2012

Who Doesn't Love Shopping? Adding and Subtracting Large Numbers!

Adding and Subtracting Large Numbers
Hmmmm...How can I make adding and subtracting large numbers fun? What do I love almost as much as new technology? Shopping of course! And my students loved it as well!

A Document, Computer, and a Calculator
I told my students I was giving them $10,000 to spend on the students in our school.  They could buy them anything they wanted.  I gave them a blank shopping list, and let them go! I let them use a calculator because they are proficient in adding and subtracting large numbers. I only asked that they find the difference between $10,000, and their remaining money, without a calculator.

The Conversation
It was interesting to listen to my students as they worked. Many different concepts came into play. The first was about what they should purchase, and which websites to go to to get it. They also discussed how many of each item to buy, sales, discounts, and whether the item was something kids would want. They discussed shipping costs, not only the amount it would cost, but also which method they should use. They played with the numbers, figuring out what to do if they went over $10,000. One team went over and looked over the sheet and made a decision on which item to eliminate.

This lesson was  a lot of fun, it fit right in with the spirit of giving, and gave my students the opportunity to learn more than how to add and subtract large numbers.

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