Math Tip Monday- Ideas for Teaching Measurement

Welcome to another round of Math Tip Monday! This month we are all going to share some of our favorite measurement ideas.

In first grade we focus on nonstandard measurement. We look at the length of items, proper ways to measure, and also how we can use an object to compare the lengths of two other objects (transitivity).

Vocabulary: measure, order, length, height, width, longer than, shorter than, nonstandard, unit, gap, overlap

I like to always tie in real world connections. One way I do that is by starting my lesson with a "Who Cares?" anchor chart. We brainstorm a list of professions that care about measurement and who use it daily. Here is what my kiddos came up with:
We also continue discussing this throughout the unit with our daily warm-up discussions. Some sample ideas for discussion starters are:

How do doctors (for people) use measurement for their job? Do animal doctors use it in the same way or differently?

When is a time you needed to measure at home? Which tool did you use?

How do builders/designers use measurement? What would happen if they didn’t know how to measure?

Agree of disagree (and justify)- Nonstandard Measurement is a necessary skill to learn.

In addition to a discussion, we also start each lesson with a problem. Here are a few of the problems that were in this week's lesson plan:

Nigel and Corey each have new pencils that are the same length. Corey uses his pencil so much that he needs to sharpen it several times. Nigel doesn’t use his at all. Nigel and Corey compare pencils. Whose pencil is longer? Draw a picture to show your thinking.   

Jordan has 3 stuffed animals: a giraffe, a bear, and a monkey. The giraffe is longer than the monkey. The bear is shorter than the monkey. Sketch the animals from shortest to longest to show how tall each animal is.  
Draw a picture to match each of these two sentences:
The book is longer than the index card. The book is shorter than the folder. Which is longer, the index card or the folder? Write a statement comparing the two objects. Use your drawings to help you answer the question.  
Joe ran a string from his room to his sister’s room to measure the distance between them. When he tried to use the same string to measure the distance from his room to his brother’s room, the string didn’t reach! Which room was closer to Joe’s room, his sister’s or his brother’s?  

Julia’s lollipop is 15 cubes long. She measured the lollipop with 9 red cubes and some blue cubes. How many blue cubes did she use?  
Of course in addition to talking about measurement, we have to get really get into it and measure! My kids love using different nonstandard tools to measure classroom items (especially if I lay on the floor and they get to measure me!). We have discussions about not having gaps or overlaps when measuring. We also problem solve and discuss why two people might get a different answer when measuring the same object (measured wrong, used two different tools, one measured length and one measured width, etc.)

I am a huge book nerd. So of course, I need to tie in literacy somehow! One of my favorite books for this unit is How Big Is A Foot.  We listen to it read aloud on YouTube. If you haven't read this book yet it is simply adorable. We discussed how the King's footprint was a different size than other people's and the importance of being clear in which unit of measurement we are using. I showed them an example of Shaq's 22.5 inch foot (YIKES!). My kiddos then traced their own feet to compare to Shaq and each other. They truly love this measurement unit! 
Lastly, here are a few of the online games we use doing whole group practice and centers. I have multiple laptops set up around the room and my kids love playing math games on them! Simply click each picture below to go to the website!

I hope you were able to find some fun new measurement ideas. Be sure to check out all of the other tips below. Have a great week!

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