In addition to try and reinvent the Algebra II wheel (and decorate it with supercool flames), I'm getting all Mr. Stadel and trying to integrate some estimation into the routine. It's a fortunate situation. I have one section of Algebra II and it meets for the longest period of the day. Flexibility is abundant.
Main idea: travel through Estimation180
In the back of their notebooks I had them create a table:
I load the website and have it up for them to look at as they enter. I established a procedure for this, the new question gets added along with their guess and confidence level, then we talk about it.
So far the level of interest is pretty good. There is an innate curiosity for these types of tasks, even when I say these exercise have no impact on their grade.
Two favorite features:
I introduced it cold, no prompting. I went about my normal business as they filed in. The first day I started. There wasn't much indication they had noticed or were interested. Yet, when I finally said "who has a guess?" nearly all of them had something to shout. Over a week later, most of the room is still shouting guesses at me.
The tasks build on each other. A small pack of tissues one day, a box the next, 12 boxes the next. The kids bombed the small pack, did better on the box, and nailed the 12 pack. The site uses reference points to its advantage.
It opened the door to other avenues. The other day we did our estimation exercise and played a game I stumbled on over the weekend thanks to @jacehan:
The game board:
I gave them 5-10 minutes to review the choices, then reloaded the game and we played together. Some tense moments and good disagreement. The size of Russia will surprise you.