What do "How Many?" exercises look like in the classroom?
Of course, there will be very few times when you want your students to ponder "How many ways is a forest fire a GOOD thing?" or "How many predators are the color orange?" Instead, you`ll want to cater these problems to the subject matter at hand. We`ve already written a wideselection of "How Many?" exercises organized by topic, and they`ll be easy to create on your own once you grasp the concept.
For example, if you are teaching about multiplication, you may use this "How Many?" exercise: How many multiplication problems have a product equal to 9?
This question literally has an endless number of answers. Still, students may get stuck after answering the "obvious" ones (3x3 , 9x1). As a teacher, you must lead them out of their comfort zone to find more answers. For example:
 18 x 1/2
 √9 x 3
 3 x 3
 1 x 9
 and so on
Do "How Many?" exercises work for all subject areas and grade levels?
Yes. Without a doubt... yes! The "How Many?" exercises can not only be used in multiple subject areas, but also for the many topics within a given subject area. We have already provided a wide range of "How Many?" exercises in the core subjects, and these can easily be used as a model for teachers who want to write their own to fit their classroom.
The same flexibility applies to using "How Many?" exercises across grade levels. What is especially interesting in this case is that the same "How Many?" exercise could easily be used for a kindergartner or a senior in high school... and each student would benefit greatly from the exercise.
Let`s use this one for an example: "List as many similarities as you can between a person travelling to the New World in the early 1700s and a person travelling to the Western Frontier in the mid1800s." A teacher might ask this to a group of kindergartners, hoping to hear basic statements like "It was a long trip" or "They wanted to make a new start." At the other end of the spectrum, a highschool teacher might expect to hear details about the motivations for the trip, the expectations, and the logistical challenges along the way.
What`s the one thing to remember about "How Many?" exercises?
It`s all about the process. Teaching students the formulas and the facts and the figures is just the first step. "How Many?" exercises encourage students to continue digging even after the obvious answers have been given... that`s where the true growth comes in.
