I will start the lesson with a survey about student preferences regarding white or chocolate milk. I use the chart that I created (see section resource) and project it on the Smart Board. I have included the notebook and pdf version of this chart.
"I want to start with a quick survey. Who thinks they know what my survey will be about (I am hoping they look at the chart to answer this)? I want to know if you rather have chocolate or white milk. I would like you to go up and record your response on the chart. You can put a "w" for white and a "c" for chocolate."
After students had completed the survey, you can ask the following:
"What did you learn from our results? What is an equation for our data?"
I have also included a video of the students completing the chart and an image of the final product.
It is expected that 1st grade students "organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another. This quick survey activity allows you to assess students' abilities to meet this standard as a whole group (CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.C.4)."
I ask the students to make a circle on the carpet and ask for one student to let me borrow their shoe. I want to find a student who has a smaller foot. I then place one of my shoes next to the borrowed student shoe.
"I want you to look at my shoe and Lucy's shoe. Which shoe is longer? How much longer is it? Use your hands to show me how much longer my shoe is. Mathematicians like to be accurate and will use tools to measure the difference of the two shoes. Let's start measuring Lucy's shoe. I will make sure that I line both of them up and that I start at the back edge of the shoe. I will use the 1 inch tiles to start measuring her shoe. I would like you to count them as I go."
When I get to the end of the student shoe, I then ask:
"How could I use the tiles to figure out how much longer my shoe is? As you can see they are the same until we get to the end of Lucy's shoe. However, mine is longer, so how much longer is it?"
I then take suggestions from the class. I want them to understand that I can continue adding tiles until I get to the same length as my shoe. I have included a video of this procedure. It is several minutes long but it really gives you insight on this part of the lesson.
"Let's say we wanted to do the same thing but with fish. Today you are going to solve fish stories that have you comparing fish. Here is an example: Tim caught a bass that was 4 inches long. Then he caught a sunfish that was 7 inches long. How much longer was the sunfish? I want you to close your eyes and picture this story as I read it again. What is this story asking us to do? What do we already know? Will the answer be more or less than 7 inches? I would like you to spend some time figuring out who much more the bass would have to grow to equal the length of the sunfish?" While solving these problems, students are being asked to model their thinking and write and equation to represent what they did (CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4)
"Today during the Center Time, you will be asked to solve Fish Story Problems. You will work on your own with these problems. I will help you read them if you get stuck with the words."
Students are expected to "use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem (CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.A.1)."
NOTE: This activity was introduced in a previous lesson. I was not in school the day that it was taught but the students already understand the concept of a fish being legal and how to measure a fish with tiles. You may want to spend time introducing these concepts before teaching this lesson.
"During Center Time, you will also be able to measure different fish and decide if they are legal or not. You will need to use the recording sheet (see Measuring For Legal Fish document in the resource section) and one of the three fish posters that are available (see section resource). There are three types of fish; Pat Fish, Kim Fish, or Tom Fish (I have chosen these names because they are easy to read by all of the students). You will choose a Tom, Pat, or Kim poster and then circle the choice on your recording sheet. In order for a fish to be legal, it must be at least 5 inches long. You will measure each fish (fish 1 on the poster should be recorded on fish one of the recording sheet), write down how many tiles it is, and then decide if it is legal."
In this activity, students must be accurate with their measuring, make sure that their are no gaps or overlaps with their tiles, and record the total length of each fish. The Core expects students to be able to "express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. Limit to contexts where the object being measured is spanned by a whole number of length units with no gaps or overlaps (CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.A.2 and CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6)."
I have included a video of this introduction and an example of a completed recording sheet. They are in the section resource.
Students will work on the two activities that were described in the previous sections. The students should start with the Fish Stories and then move to the Measuring Fish activity.
Fish Stories: You will need to make copies for your students. The problems are int he resource section of the Comparison Stories introduction. There are two types of problems. One set is for those who need a bit more of a challenge with the math. I will ask students who will need the stories read to them, to work with me at one table and let the others work independently around the room. They can check in with me after each one.
Measuring Fish: Again, you will need to go to the resource section of the introduction to this activity and print off enough recording sheets and fish sheets for each student. You will also need inch tiles for the students to use.
If a child measures all of the fish from each poster, the activity can be extended by changing the size needed for a fish to be legal.
I want to end the lesson with a discussion that reinforces accurate measurement techniques.
"I want to finish today by creating a poster that talks about some of the challenges that we faced when we were measuring and some tips that could help with these challenges. Who can tell me what was hard about measuring the fish? I then write down their responses on the board. What "tips" can you give people who are trying to measure?"
This discussion allows students to look at ways to be precise with their measurements and eliminate some mistakes. It is emphasizing the need to use the measurement tools accurately. (CCSS.Math.Practice.MP5)
I have included a photo of the students responses.