Using and understanding measurement tools is a very important part of math. Children hear adults talk about inches, feet, miles, gallons, and pounds. Children need real-life experiences with measuring to begin to make sense of this challenging skill.
On Thursday of last week, we had a conversation about our butterfly/prairie garden in math class. This was a natural way to introduce concepts like area and perimeter. I gave the example of needing to know the area of the gardens if we wanted to know how much soil to purchase, or plants to buy. If we needed to purchase a fence to go all the way around the garden, then the perimeter is what we need. While the mathematical equations were given (L X W and L X 2 + W X 2), what I prefer these very young scholars to grasp is what the concepts actually MEAN. What better way than to go to the garden areas and measure!