Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fun With Non Standard Units of Measurement

Ok, so math was really fun today. The kids had fun, and I had fun. It doesn't happen all the time. Our new math program is tedious and time consuming, but today, it was pretty darn fun. We measured, using nonstandard units of measurement. We are working on measuring in yards. Before I introduced the yard stick to them, we estimated how many kids it would take to measure the length of the room from wall to wall. We cleared a path, and chose a random assortment of different sized kids. We lined everyone up head to foot. It took about 6 1/2 random kids to cross the room. It took 6 3/4 small kids to cross the room, 6 1/4 tall kids to cross the room, and 6 1/2 medium sized kids to cross the room. Trust me when I tell you that they know if they are small, medium or large, and they know the same information about everyone else. Everyone got to be in the measurement at least once, and no bodies were harmed in the 1/2, 1/4, 3/4 size measurements.
I took a really adorable picture of the kids, but I can't show it to you, in honor of the privacy of my students. This one doesn't really show anyone very well-the boy in the front looks all squishy and distorted, but I wanted you to see them being measured. Bodies all over the floor, and under a table, to the other side.
After lunch, we had time to measure the length of the room with our shoes. It took 38 shoes to cover it-36 kid shoes, and two adult shoes.
The kids loved being in their sock feet.

Oh and look! Blue sky!!! Hello blue sky, it was great to see you!


DayByDay said...

I am a student at MSU and I have teach a class about non-standard measurement. I came across this blog entry via google. I had a question about your lesson: since you used kids shoes, I'm sure they weren't all the same size, so did when teaching about the different things you can use to measure, did you enforce the rule that the item you are measuring with has to be the same size or not? Thanks alot! great pictures!

I am Julie said...

We discussed the different sizes of their feet. I explained that when measuring for accuracy, the items needed to be the same length. For practice purposes though, we used all of their different sized shoes. In fact, when we got to the wall, we chose shoes, based on size, that would fit so that we had coverage over the entire floor. We also discussed that to measure "for real" one would need to use a measurement tool: ruler, or tape measure.