Questimate is a remarkable math estimation game that puts kids in charge of making word problems with just enough guidance to keep the problems relevant and challenging. This app exposes kids to estimating real-world items in unique ways that focus on how math -- not just guessing -- can be used to estimate. From how many bread loaves equal the length of the average couch to how far a hippo can run in a minute, kids get to choose from various topics with types of estimation (length, speed, height, and more) via a fill-in-the-blank template with real-world options provided by the app.
If kids correctly answer the question "How many bars of soap would be as long as a yoga mat?" they earn points, hints, and power-ups to add some twists to gameplay. Kids can play solo, as a pass-and-play game with an in-person classmate, or via Apple's Game Center. Questimate! is a major winner for engaging kids in the art of estimation.
Learning is built into Questimate's question formation process, as well as in estimating the answers. The game's format makes the process fun and very sticky. It offers in-depth explanations in the Really?! section that include detailed photo- and equations-style explanations. Gameplay via the Pass & Play option adds collaborative learning, too. As students create the questions and then attempt to estimate the answers, kids must recall information they know about these objects and apply math, logical reasoning, comparing, and their own critical-thinking skills. As they do so, they learn about part-whole relationships and the art of estimation.
Questimate! is a wonderful app to engage kids in solo, small groups, or classroom-wide estimation math practice. If you're using this as a classroom-wide lesson, be sure to work the problem through each available step -- from hints to full math explanation -- to get kids thinking about all the different components that go into an educated estimation. After playing Questimate! for a while, encourage kids to develop their own real-world estimation problems with items brought from home that are small enough to use in the classroom.