Inquiring, Deconstructing & Reconstructing 1000

Day 3 of school, day 2 of 1000s Project…

[Continued from previous post]


Today students brought in what materials they were able to collect for their 1000s project. Most remembered and one group actually went over 1000 when they counted out their flowers and leaves!


1) Students had the opportunity to meet with their group and draw a diagram of what their 1000s Project would look like. Many students were challenged with how to properly organize their items and needed teacher guidance to redirect them once they were stuck. Students mapped out their thinking on paper. How many items they had and the difference left over. This simple task was very revealing indeed! I made an effort to allow students the opportunity to discover their own errors in calculations or organization, but still some will need additional strategies to calculate the difference left to collect (see error below):


“So far = 147  Left to collect = 963”

2) Students were encouraged to start mapping on large paper what their display might look like. Students manipulated their items in various formations, groupings and shapes. No one was allowed to use glue just yet! I wanted them to have a clear understanding of consistency in their deconstruction of 1000.

3) At first many students were going to make groups of 100, but many found counting up to that number was a challenge. With some gentle guidance, groups agreed on one ‘grouping’ method for their items. Such groupings included:

* Strips of 10 dots that make a group of 50 (x 20)

* Groups of 10 straws (x100)

* Groups of 40 (organized first in rows of 10) x 25


Encouraging the students to document, plan and organize their materials took the better part of the morning. Still, students remained engaged as they counted, re-counted, ordered, re-ordered and finally placed and glued the beginnings of the 1000s collection.

IMG_6057These students used tape to create groups of 10 with straws (though not finished yet!)

IMG_6051  These students had originally designed a random array of dots on an A4 paper. After some guidance and re-thinking, they created to a concrete display of 10 x 5 x 20 rows…totaling 1000.


4) I developed a basic self-assessment rubric to guide students while they work. Since this was introduced only on the 3rd day of school, the criteria were based around social & organizational skills, rather than academic.
Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 7.30.49 PM

The self-assessment also includes a reflection which will allow students to explain their thinking in words. The questions they will answer are:

What did you learn about the number 1000?
What did you enjoy about this project?
What were some challenges about this project?
How did you feel working in your group?
What would you change about it for next time?

As students become more familiar with the Six Thinking Hats the questions will reflect this format.

Here are a few snapshots of the students hard at work on their 1000s Project! They are due to finish on Monday…

2 thoughts on “Inquiring, Deconstructing & Reconstructing 1000

  1. Dear 4J & Ms Jocelyn,

    I was fascinated to read about your 1000s Project. I can see that you did a lot of thinking about place value and our base-ten number system. You have great adding, subtracting and multiplying skills.

    I was so excited by your work, I asked our Grade 3 class to try your project. We are an international school in Beijing, China. Our Grade 3 students have spent the last week doing your project. The 3 groups chose leaves, sunflower seeds and playing cards as their items. There were a few arguments and lots of discussion. Did you have any arguments in your groups?

    The students ended up grouping in this way: piles of 100 x 10, groups of 50 x 20 and sets of 10 x 100. I think your groups of 40 are very clever indeed! Congratulations on a great project! I will tweet a couple of pictures to your teacher, so you can see that your math thinking was contagious!

    Keep up the great work and have a wonderful year.

    Ms O’Dwyer

  2. Pingback: 1000s Project Final Reflections : 4J – Ms. Jocelyn

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