It's another fine desert day for the counting coyotes: Clumsy, Clever, Cool, Careful and Little One. Clumsy thinks there must be hundreds of roadrunner birds, but Clever thinks that's a little high and encourages the other four coyotes to take a count. When it comes time to add up the totals, Clever says she can do in it her head by using rounding. Instead of adding 21+12+17+8, Clever rounds the numbers and adds 20+10+20+10, estimating the total will be 60. The actual total is 58, so she's pretty close. The coyotes then try counting lizards and grasshoppers. Clever's fast estimating amazes her friends. The story is also filled with lots of coyote factoids.
Rounding and then computing are necessary skills for making sound estimates.
Illustrated by Steve Björkman.
Reread the story and point out how Clever Coyote uses the number line to round each of the numbers.
Make up an addition problem consisting of three 2-digit numbers (for example, 14+37+23). Then ask your child (or students) to round each number (10+40+20) and find the sum. Compare that answer to the estimate.
Card Game: Take the face cards out of a deck of cards and place the deck face down between two or more players. Each player takes a turn drawing two cards and uses them to make a double-digit number (for example, a 5 and a 2 would be 52). The players round their numbers (52 would be 50), and the player with the highest number wins.
Teacher Idea: For "Coyotes All Around," we play “Rounding Bingo.” The kids write tens—“10, 20, 30, 40”—on their bingo boards. Then I call out a number, for example, “58.” They need to put a bingo chip on “60” because that’s the nearest number. It reinforces the topic. —Jennifer Hong, Punahou School, Honolulu, HI