This week we looked at measurement topics such as perimeter, area, volume, mass, time and angles.
The concept of time as a measurement can be a little difficult to understand. We at different strategies to estimate, measure and record time. Students need to know the difference between analog and digital clocks. A really fun and interactive game we used to test the knowledge of analog clocks was a “clock bingo” game. The students each receive a bingo card with analog clocks and the teacher calls out/displays digital corresponding times. This activity is most suitable for grades 3-4. I also stumbled upon a cool Pinterest board that has neat activities for teaching time. You can check this out if you’re looking for some ideas.
This Scholastic blog has 10 great hands on strategies for teachers to use when approaching area and perimeter. In fact, one of our presentations included an activity from here. Students are to write their names in block letters on centimetre grid paper. They must find the perimeter of each individual letter and then combine the perimeters to find the total perimeter of their name. This is a great activity for the beginning of the year too as these names can go on the students math binders or as a name tag on their desks. Below is from Ellena’s math blog.. this is her example for our class!
One presentation explored volume
. In grade 6, students must learn to estimate and measure volumes using the metric system. A neat activity we tried was using the cm block cubes manipulatives to estimate the volumes of empty boxes before we calculated their actual volumes. We tried this strategy on a rectangular prism (box of Kraft Dinner) and a triangular prism (Toblerone bar). When teaching measurement, it is important to remind students to be watchful with their units. Perimeter is linear (cm), area is in two dimensions (cm squared) and volume is in three dimensions (cm cubed)! The Khan Academy
has a great set of tutorials for this topic.
Lastly, in our class we viewed a great resource for a “Minds On” portion of a lesson. This video is about unusual units of measurement and can be really useful to help students break the rigidity of thinking around the ways we measure. It also offers a bit of history on where our current measurements come from and it is simply entertaining and funny! Take a look!
My father is the proud owner of an audio/visual company here in Ontario. Many summers I spent time working with his employees at various hotels, schools or office board rooms all over Canada. I can’t stress enough how valuable it was to know basic measurement principles. Every day we are encountered with measurement and conversions, but in my case it was extremely important to be accurate. We had to know the perimeter of the rooms, the lengths of the tables and screens, the volume of the speakers that needed to be cut flush into the wall. Having the measurement knowledge was extremely beneficial to me when realizing I had to make these calculations.
As we explored these concepts in our class and through the readings, my feelings we’re reaffirmed. My classmates highlighted relevant applications of measurements in our lives, especially with unit conversions and time. I feel extremely confident going into my classroom to teach this unit, regardless of age. I can’t wait to allow my students to explore measurement with manipulatives, make estimates, and then go out and apply their knowledge to real life situations. I also enjoyed adding to my knowledge base. Watching the unusual measurement video gave me some insight to where these expressions originated from.