The 5th Grade Holds a Number Convention!

Posted on September 24, 2018
Categories: Student News

SLA@Beeber’s 5th graders just completed an exploration into number systems to begin the year in Math. To lay the foundation for abstract thinking and inquiry, we asked the questions:

What do we use numbers for?
What are the best numbers to use?
What is so great about place value?

We took a step back and looked at Egyptian numbers and other ancient number systems to think about the range of possibilities for expressing quantities. Each of us imagined a civilization and invented a number system for it, taking into account what base it would be and whether it would be positional in nature. The number systems we created used shapes, letters, colors, food, dance moves, and more!

On the last day of the unit, we held a Number Convention where everyone courageously came together to present their number system on a poster. Students stretched their minds as they visited each poster by translating their own numbers to their classmates numbers, which is a unique way to practice flexibly switching between representations.

Here are a few reflections by 5th graders on what they learned through doing this project:

“I learned that all kinds of numbers have their meanings.”
“I learned that I can do a project by myself.”
“I learned that it takes time to do things.”
“I learned that I can use any type of strategy to do math.”
“I learned that anyone can make a number system. You just have to try.”

Congratulations to all of our 5th graders for embarking on your SLA journey. Welcome, and thank you for bringing your ideas into our community!