Thursday, August 6, 2015

Estimation via Splatoon

I am a huge fan the website Estimation 180 and the various estimation tasks it provides my students. I am always impressed by the ideas that come to mind when looking at real world objects and what could be estimated. Every once in awhile I will see something that I think is interesting and submit the picture to the @Estimation180 Twitter feed for others to enjoy.

Whenever I have a little free time, I enjoy sitting down and playing a video game. It doesn't happen very often, but playing a game provides a relaxing 15 or 20 minutes before it's back to the grind. The game I am currently playing is Splatoon by Nintendo. Splatoon is a paintball type game where you and 3 other players try to cover the floor of the arena you are in with more ink than the 4 other players you are battling. You can also ink the opposing players causing them to be in sort of the penalty box for a few seconds before they can start shooting again. Here is some game footage to give you an idea...

The game is very entertaining in short burst, but as I played a little more, I noticed something in the end match screen that screamed estimation. When the match is over, you look at an overhead view of the arena and the winner is decided by whichever team has the most paint splattered on the floor. A cartoon cat is the judge, and he gives you a little time to estimate who was the winner before he declares a winner. After every match I found myself trying to quickly calculate which team won and what the percentages were. It is possible for the percentages to not equal 100% if some of the arena floor is left unpainted. Some areas like grates cannot be painted.

I am thinking about creating my own site with pictures posted for estimation goodness. I think these pictures could also be useful for working with complex area on a larger scale. For now, here are some images that you can use with your students to start your school year!

Dr. Clayton M. Edwards
Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction 
University of Northern Iowa
Schindler Education Center/Nielsen Field House
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Editorial Panel
Curriculum Vita
Mathematical Tasks Spreadsheet
1:1 Mathematical Philosophy

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