Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Measurement, non-standard style!

When you think of measurement, do rulers, tape measures, or measuring cups come to mind?

If you are a Grade One student thinking of measurement, it's more likely that hands, markers, cubes, playing cards, or even pasta would come to mind!

We are about halfway through our math unit exploring measurement. The children are introduced to measurement using non-standard units. Using non-standard units means the children are measuring and comparing using paper clips, toothpicks, playing cards, beans, and more! No centimeters, grams, or liters here!

Length & Distance

Last week we worked hard to measure and compare length. An important part of measurement is learning how to measure accurately. Here a student is showing how she measures the length of our computer table using her hands. Can you see how she lines up her hands, careful not  to overlap or leave spaces between? Very exact measuring!

Measuring length using hands

We learned that to make comparisons, we need to use the same measurement tool. This means if we want to compare the distances that three cars travelled down a ramp, we need to measure these distances with the same item. Can you see the children using markers to compare which car zoomed the farthest?

Measuring distance using markers

The children were challenged in pairs to figure out which animal travelled the farthest by examining the tracks they left in the snow. While different groups using different measurement tools, such as beans, pasta, cubes or pennies, the children learned that to make comparisons between distances, pairs needed to use the same tool for all of their measurement. 

Measuring which animal travelled the farthest


When we measure area, we are covering an object.  Today students worked together to compare the area of their desktop, agenda, and chair. Can you see the measurement tool we were using?

We will continue to use non-standard units to measure volume and mass. Keep up the careful measuring, mathematicians! 

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