# Let s Measure Pre-Kindergarten

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1 Ohio Standards Connection Measurement Standard Benchmark D Apply measurement techniques to measure length, weight and volume (capacity). Indicator 6 Measure length and volume (capacity) using non-standard units of measure (e.g., how many paper clips long is a pencil, how many small containers it takes to fill one big container using sand, rice, or beans). Mathematical Processes Benchmark D Evaluate the reasonableness of predictions, estimations and solutions. Lesson Summary: This lesson introduces children to the concept of the measures, length and volume. Story reading and children s play set meaningful contexts for young learners to explore the process of measuring volume and length using everyday items such as crayons, blocks and cups. Estimated Duration: 30 minutes - Lesson takes place during several short sessions, over several days. Commentary: The NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics states, Measurement is one of the most widely used applications of mathematics. Young children develop their foundation of measurement understanding to be formalized and expanded in later years. Children compare length and volume while developing measuring skills. Asking children questions helps them focus on various aspects of measurement and helps them develop vocabulary used to compare and describe the objects being measured. By communicating verbally and in writing, children demonstrate their understanding of the procedural and conceptual aspects of measurement. Pre-Assessment: Informally assess children s understandings of size and use of a measurement tool by observing and posing questions during daily activities and play. For example, as children construct a long road made of wooden blocks, pose questions and comments such as the following to reveal the child s thinking about linear measurement: a. Which block is longer? Shorter? b. How long is your road? c. How do you know it is this long? d. How can you find out? Show me. Gather data on children s current understanding about measuring volume when children gather at the sand and water table to practice measuring. As children play with containers of various sizes, pose questions such as: 1. How many scoops of sand will it take to fill this bucket? 2. How can we find out? 3. How will we know when it is full? 1

2 Scoring Guidelines: Observe, listen and record anecdotal notes as children demonstrate and express their understanding. Note individual children s ease or difficulty. Post-Assessment: Post-Assessment occurs within the learning center context (e.g., block area, sand/water table) and embedded within lesson activities and play such as Observing children during and following the lesson as they use non-standard units of choice (e.g., hands, feet, paperclips, chain links, one-inch tiles, scoops, cups and buckets) to measure length of items or volume of material found within indoor and outdoor settings. Listen to children as they estimate. Talk about the process used to measure and respond to questions about linear and volume measurement. Compare individual children s understanding and skill to prior documentation to indicate growth and effectiveness of the activities. Scoring Guidelines: Assess children s ability to measure length and volume using non-standard units. Make note of the following: Did the child line up the non-standard units end to end? Did the child start at one edge of the item being measured and continue to the other end of the item? When filling a larger container using a cup as the measuring tool, did the student fill the cup to the top? How did the child determine the length or number of units (e.g., number of paperclips or number of cups of beans)? Did the child use 1. Global estimation? 2. Counting with random one-to-one correspondence? 3. Counting with organized one-to-one correspondence? Use Attachment A, Post-Assessment Checklist, to record observations made while the student performs the tasks. Instructional Procedures: Instructional Tips: Pre-select a children s book to stimulate discussion and interest in the concept of measurement. A big book version of the literature selection provides opportunities for all children within the group to view and to have access. Collect the following materials to use for exploration in small groups: set of 5-10 manipulatives of the same size for each child (e.g., worms, bugs, or other items the same size as the measurement unit depicted in the children s book); blocks longer in length than the manipulative for each member of the group to measure; other non-standard units of measurement, such as paperclips, crayons, markers, toothpicks, etc. 2

4 long blocks all of equal size (at least three times longer than the small block). b. Engage children in discussion, describing and comparing the size of the two sets of blocks (e.g., long, short). c. Place one long block on the floor or table for children to view. Point to the set of small blocks and pose a problem for children to solve. Elicit children s ideas and estimation of block length by commenting and asking questions such as: I want to measure and find the size of this (long) block. How can I use these small blocks to find out? How many small blocks does it take to reach from one end of the long block to the other? Can you help me line them up to find out? d. Accept and record children s estimations on the number of small blocks needed (length). Use the small blocks to measure the long block and have the children assist in counting the number of small blocks used. Check the children s predictions. 11. Provide several sets of small blocks all of equal size. Have children work in pairs as they manipulate blocks to estimate and measure an object/item in the learning setting (e.g., rug). 12. Gather children together to discuss their findings and processes used to measure. Build oral language and children s use of mathematical terms as they engage in conversations, with probing questions such as: What did you find out? How many blocks did it take to measure? Did you guess (estimate) the same number? How did you use the blocks to measure the rug? Tell us or show how you worked together. Instructional Tip: As children manipulate blocks and other non-standard units to measure length, point out the importance of placing the measuring unit at one end/edge of the object and placing the additional units end-to-end with no gaps between them. Provide assistance as needed. Part Three 13. Create a list on chart paper of objects/items in the room for children to measure and then compare sizes and lengths (e.g., a book, table, rug, big book, doll, puppet theatre, dollhouse, bookshelf, toy animals, play food, length of strung beads, etc.). Provide pictures or icons of the items listed and post the chart for easy reference. 14. Provide clipboards, markers and pencils for each child. Provide small bags or containers of non-standard units of measure for the children to select and use to measure objects, furniture, etc. in a learning setting. Provide sets of items listed by children during discussion in Part One of the lesson (e.g., large paperclips, wooden pegs, toothpicks, ribbon, yarn, string or linking cubes). 15. During free play, encourage children to choose an object(s) from the list displayed, and bag of measuring tools. Instruct children to estimate, measure and record their findings on Attachment B, How Many Did You Use? Encourage children to represent the number of units used with tally marks, stickers or numbers, number stamp or numerals. Use a measurement sheet for each investigation. 4

6 It may be helpful, when teaching the process of measuring volume, to use a piece of colored tape or an other tangible medium to mark the fill line on the outside of the cup used for measuring. This gives children a tactile as well as a visual marker. Extensions: Children compare volumes of related substances such as snow versus water; wet sand versus dry sand. Use opportunities during outdoor play for children to measure distance (e.g., using blocks to measure and compare length or size of jumps). Children measure and compare their growth from birth to present. Ask families to provide length of children at birth. Have children string pieces of macaroni to match this length. Have children work in pairs to find current height. Place a long piece of butcher paper on the floor and lay the macaroni-measuring ruler or stick along one side, while each child lies down alongside the stick. Make a class height chart. Children work in pairs to estimate and then use paperclip rulers to determine how tall they are. Create a graph comparing the length of objects measured. Ask children to use the same nonstandard unit of measure. Have children work with partners or independently measure objects listed on class chart. Represent measurement by shading the appropriate number of spaces on a bar graph. Converse with children introducing and reinforcing terms of comparison while recording measurements on the chart (e.g., long, longer, short, shorter, more than, less than). Children practice measuring skills while making salt-dough, pudding or gelatin from simple recipes. Show children how to create a measuring stick by hooking large paperclips together or by stringing long macaroni. Children can work in teams or with partners as they use the chain to answer questions such as: a. How many paperclips high is the table? b. What is the distance from the rug to the door? Create a class book of How Many Did You Use? depicting non-standard units of measure and lengths of everyday objects/items found in the classroom. Children select and use measuring units to find the length of items found during a nature walk or while exploring the outdoor play area. Home Connections: Give children a non-standard measurement tool and have them measure the length of one shoe of each person who lives in their home. Children trace a shoe for each family member and determine the length of each person s shoe according to the non-standard measurement tool used. (Mom s shoe is six large paperclips long.) Children bring the shoe tracings to school. Arrange these by size and use for further practice in measuring length. Suggest that children measure different items around the home or yard, using pieces of string, yarn or long blocks. Ask families to chart their child s increasing height on a growth chart mounted on a door or refrigerator. 6

7 Ask that families allow children to assist in measuring ingredients used in preparing food for mealtime. Use measurement units required in the recipe. Interdisciplinary Connections: Standard: Physical Sciences Benchmark: A. Nature of Matter Indicator: 2. Explore and compare materials that provide many different sensory experiences (e.g., sand, water, wood). Materials and Resources: The inclusion of a specific resource in any lesson formulated by the Ohio Department of Education should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Department of Education does not endorse any particular resource. The Web addresses listed are for a given site s main page, therefore, it may be necessary to search within that site to find the specific information required for a given lesson. Please note that information published on the Internet changes over time, therefore the links provided may no longer contain the specific information related to a given lesson. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students. For the teacher: chart paper, marker, objects of differing lengths (e.g., blocks, pencils, crayons, paintbrushes), children s book about linear measurement, replica of measuring unit in storybook, small blocks all the same length, paperclips, chain links, one-inch tiles, markers, toothpicks, wooden pegs, linking cubes, several pairs of large and small clear containers, water beans, sand, cups For the student: objects of differing lengths (e.g., blocks, pencils, crayons, paintbrushes),5-10 replicas of measuring unit depicted in storybook, small blocks all the same length, paperclips, chain links, one-inch tiles, markers, toothpicks, number stamps, wooden pegs, linking cubes, several pairs of large and small clear containers, water, beans, sand, rice, cups Vocabulary: big count estimate less long longer measure more one-half short shorter volume 7

8 Research Connections: Copley, Juanita The Young Child and Mathematics. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Attachments: Attachment A, Post-Assessment Checklist Attachment B, How Many Did You Use? 8

9 Attachment A Post-Assessment Checklist Student Lined up nonstandard units end to end Started at the edge of the item being measured, continued all the way to the end Filled up larger container all the way to top Counted number of non-standard units used to measure length/volume (i.e., number of paperclips, number of cups of beans) Comments 9

10 Attachment B How Many Did You Use? Draw a picture of the item you measured. Draw a picture of how you measured it. 10

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