Demystifying Measurement

measurement_ruler

I found this article online, and wanted to share it with everyone:  http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/02/demystifying-measurement

It’s called Demystifying Measurement, and written by Julie Ballew.  Her school holds a monthly event called Home & School Connection, and during this session, math coach Cindy Wall supplied parents and students with three different activities to help them understand measurement.

The first activity, Lots of Lines, shows participants that measurements aren’t always as they appear at first (which is why it’s so important to know how to measure properly).  In this activity, students are given a curly and straight line.  The curly line appears to be shorter at first glance, but actually measures longer in length than the straight line.  This reminded me of the Ordering Rectangles activity we needed to complete for module 10- where the slimness or chunkiness of the different rectangles led me to misconceive the actual areas and perimeters.

The second activity, Area vs. Perimeter, is very much like the activity the activity we did with our Tangrams in module 9.

The third activity, Making Measurement Tools, has students actually create a ruler.  Ballew writes, “One of the most common struggles in our school is using a ruler correctly. Students consistently measure incorrectly even when the ruler is in their hands, and they often miss test questions involving paper rulers. Cindy addressed this with students and parents by having them make their own rulers in order to understand them better. We always have students make paper clocks to understand time — why aren’t they making rulers?  “.  What a great point!  Several other instructors have commented on the website, stating that they also had their students create rulers and believed their students had benefited from doing so.

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