Reflection: Can You Measure It? - Section 1: Getting Started


Sometimes when the students respond to a question, you get something you are not expecting at all. That is what happened with the introduction to this measurement lesson. I brought out the rocks, a cup of water, and the wand and set them on the floor, asking students how I could measure these things.

The first child came up and put the objects end to end and said that she could put her fingers on the ruler to find an inch and then she could use her fingers to measure the objects. The next child wanted to pile the rocks up beside the wand and use a ruler to see how big they were. The next child came up and put the first rock in the cup of water. 

At this point, a discussion of why the water level changed derailed the math lesson for a few minutes, but it was a worthwhile science connection and I let it continue.

Returning to the math lesson and how thinking of how we could measure these things, the students insisted on wanting to measure everything with a ruler. They could not see anything beyond measuring size, in inches. 

I had expected that weight would be something students would quickly think of, but I was mistaken. Even when I asked questions about other ways to measure using something other than a ruler, the students suggested centimeters, and feet (all linear measures).

Finally,I said I am thinking of another way. I picked up one of the students, groaned slightly, then picked up the bucket of rocks and groaned again. With that one of the students called out, "Weight, we could use weight!" 

I had expected students to suggest weight, pounds, even cups as measures, but they kept to the linear measures. 

  Not What I Expected
  Not What I Expected
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Can You Measure It?

Unit 1: What and Where is Math?
Lesson 8 of 9

Objective: SWBAT identify at least 3 types of measurement and use these to solve problems.

Big Idea: Measurement is one of the 4 Critical Areas in 2nd Grade Math. At the start of the year, students are exposed to a variety of ideas about what math really is. Measurement is one important areas of math that students don't often think of.

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