Thursday, April 28, 2011
Measurement in Math
This week we started a new unit in my math class. So far, we've explored liquid capacity, and the group seems much more familiar with cups, pints, quarts and gallons. We also used lots of different measuring tools when we made our thunder cake - cups, tablespoons and teaspoons.
After reading Measuring Penny, by Loreen Leedy, we talked about the difference between standard units v.s. nonstandard units. In the story, a little girl has to use all different types of measurements to measure all sorts of the things about her dog, Penny. One of the units she used were dog biscuits.
Partners were then given biscuits and told to measure 10 different things. Emphasis was put on LABELING the unit - in this case, we used DB for dog biscuit. One partner was the recorder and the other the measurer. Then we got back together to discuss our findings.
Lots of different things were measured - cubbies, desks, papers, clipboards, people. Because each partnership was given a different shaped biscuit, then the conversation turned to why some people had different answers even if they measured the same thing. Vanya knew it was because some of the biscuits were bigger than the others.
Finally, I shared the book, How Big is a Foot? This story tells how a king measures something with his big king feet, and then the builder uses his tiny apprentice feet to make it. We talked about how that was the same as the situation with the dog biscuits! To test, I used my big teacher feet to measure the room, and then each child used their feet to do the same.