Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Measurement : Non-Standard Units

Day 1
My students are learning how to measure objects and distances using non-standard units.  Before we practiced measuring, we discussed why we need to know how to measure and also made a list of non-standard units that we could use in the classroom. Then, as a class, we demonstrated the many WRONG ways to measure an object. 
To get us familiar with some non-standard units, we set up measuring stations.  Each station had a 'Big Book' from our library and paper plate with a non-standard unit - such as paperclips, popsicle sticks, q-tips. pencils and one-inch tiles.  In groups of 3, the students would rotate to each station and familiarize themselves with measuring with non-standard units.  When they heard the wind-chime, they knew that there was only 1 minute left. When the chime rang again, it was time to switch. 

They also had a chance to practice measuring individually at their seats.  The students measured any item in their desk - scissors, pencil box, highlighter, folders...etc.  We held a discussion on why some friends needed a different number of paperclips to measure their highlighter. This was a great way to see who really understood the concept and who didn't.  Some kids had a hard time understanding that not everyone's highlighter was the same size!  The scissors were a good example to show that the units do no have to touch the object. Some kids wanted to outline the scissors with their paperclips.


Day 2

On day 2, we discussed the non-standard unit of 'kid steps'.  The students found pieces of masking tape on the classroom floor...if you teach first grade, you know how exciting something like this can be for them! They LOVED it!  Each piece of tape was lettered A-H.  The students were to go around and practice measuring each piece of tape using 'kid steps'.  They were to record their findings on their record sheet and compare the pieces of tape.  When they were finished, we came together and shared our measurements. (*Activity from Math Investigations)
 I love teamwork!!!! 

  For homework, the students were to trace and cut out an outline of their foot and hand.  They were to use outlines to measure objects in their home and record their measurements.  I'll post their findings when they bring them back to school. Stay tuned! 


Anonymous said...

Dear Sarah,

For three years, we have lived in a fairly isolated place on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. This summer we are moving back to the US and I have been trying to find benchmarks, materials, and exercises to make sure that our 7 year old son is ready to enter a mainstream 2nd grade class. Your blog is proving invaluable. My son loves your exercises and loves that he can see pictures of children his age participating in them on-line. Many thanks to you for sharing your creativity and love of teaching. It is a real gift! Kind Regards, Heather

Christine F. said...

Thanks for positing! I love reading your blogs! :)

Mary said...

Thankyou shoooooo much for sharing ... it really helped :-)

Mr. Michelbook said...

I found your blog as I was looking for activities for doing nonstandard units of measurement. I like having them explore using different centers. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

I'm also a new follower.

Mr. Michelbook's Classroom

Anonymous said...

thanks for the helpful activities! <3

I'm sure my students will love it!

God Bless You!

Ardielah said...

thank you, your program help me a lot i could explain to my son what is non standard units

Anonymous said...

I have taught first grade for 12 years and I am always looking for new ideas, as the youngsters are so different every year. I found your non-standard units to be very interesting. I can't wait to use them on Monday. The kiddos are going to love the tape!! Thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

I rely want to thank you for this. I'm studying to be a teacher on a program we in my high school, and this have been rely handy to me to teach a lesson.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say how excited I am that you are teaching Grade 2. I have been reading your Grade 1 blog and adapting lessons to suit my Year 2 students however now that you have moved up a grade I'm going to find your activities and resources even more appropriate for my stuents curriculum level. Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your sharing! Love them!

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