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New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

May 1996

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Mathematics Standards And Progress Indicators
Standard 4.10:
All Students Will Use A Variety Of Estimation Strategies And Recognize Situations In Which Estimation Is Appropriate

Descriptive Statement: Estimation is a process that is used constantly by mathematically capable adults, and that can be mastered easily by children. It involves an educated guess about a quantity or a measure, or an intelligent prediction of the outcome of a computation. The growing use of calculators makes it more important than ever that students know when a computed answer is reasonable; the best way to make that decision is through estimation. Equally important is an awareness of the many situations in which an approximate answer is as good as, or even preferable to, an exact answer.

Cumulative Progress Indicators

By the end of Grade 4, students:


Judge without counting whether a set of objects has less than, more than, or the same number of objects as a reference set.


Use personal referents, such as the width of a finger as one centimeter, for estimations with measurement.


Visually estimate length, area, volume, or angle measure.


Explore, construct, and use a variety of estimation strategies.


Recognize when estimation is appropriate, and understand the usefulness of an estimate as distinct from an exact answer.


Determine the reasonableness of an answer by estimating the result of operations.


Apply estimation in working with quantities, measurement, time, computation, and problem solving.

Building upon knowledge and skills gained in the preceding grades, and demonstrating continued progress in Indicators 5 and 6 above, by the end of Grade 8, students:


Develop, apply, and explain a variety of different estimation strategies in problem situations involving quantities and measurement.


Use equivalent representations of numbers such as fractions, decimals, and percents to facilitate estimation.


Determine whether a given estimate is an overestimate or an underestimate.

Building upon knowledge and skills gained in the preceding grades, and demonstrating continued progress in Indicator 6 above, by the end of Grade 12, students:


Estimate probabilities and predict outcomes from real-world data.


Recognize the limitations of estimation, assess the amount of error resulting from estimation, and determine whether the error is within acceptable tolerance limits.



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