Jumping into Math, Measurement, & Data Day 1

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SWBAT take and record accurate measurements to quarter inches using a tape measure.

Big Idea

Students apply measurement, graphing, and data skills to the real world context of physical education with standing jumps.

Warm Up

10 minutes

To begin this lesson the students are working outdoors at a sand pit for long jumps and standing jumps.  I have chosen to conduct this day of the lesson outside for the safety provided with the soft, sandy surface.  An alternative would be to use indoor mats in a PE area. I divided the students into two separate groups because our sand pit is large enough to accommodate students jumping from either end toward the center simultaneously.  This provided some management to keep all students on task and engaged during the lesson.  

Prior to this lesson I have discussed with the students the guidelines for the jumps.  Students are to line up their toes with the edge of the board installed within the sand pit.  I have also discussed that the measurement will be from the front edge of the board to the back of the foot depression in the sand nearest to the board. After some discussion, the students acknowledge this provides an equal chance for all students to compare measurements even with differences in foot size and strength. Also included in our discussion was the difference between a jump and a step. My goal is for the students to complete this activity with a standing jump. 

Before the first jump, the students practice a measurement using the measuring tapes. I chose to model the requirements for measuring in this activity to allow for any questions, solve differences in opinion, and discuss strategies for the measuring.  It also helped to clarify the roles of the students throughout the lesson. 


Jumping and Measuring

30 minutes

The math emphasis will be on the making accurate measurements and recording them accurately during this day of the lesson.  

The class is divided into two groups based on the size of the sand pit.  Each group includes 

  • Jumpers (6)
  • Measurers (2) 
  • Recorder (1) 
  • Leveler of the sand (1)

The activity is a standing jump.  I emphasize the standing jump does not include stepping, skipping, or running start to the jump.  It is just standing and using your body muscles to move your body.

In groups, one student jumps, while two students are responsible for measuring the jump.  This is determined from the front edge of the board where they lines up their toes, to the back part of the heel mark in the sand.  Students use a ruler to mark a line on the back of the foot print for easier measuring.  The ruler is parallel to the board.  Students will use measuring tapes marked off with quarter inch increments, and they measure the length of the jump to the nearest quarter inch.  If a jump is between two of the marks, the length will be rounded up to the higher measurement.  For example if the length a jump is between 32" and 3/4 and 33", the recorded length would be 33".  

Students will rotate so that each student has the opportunity to jump 3 times.  Each student will take a turn in each different role making sure each student is involved in measuring.  This is the math skill addressed in the Common Core standard for this lesson.  Working in partners will allow students to support each other and offer the opportunity for the rich math discussions about measurement to take place in this real world application.

During the measurements, I watch for is the push and pull force on the measuring tape.  I have the students place the tape first at the board, and then measure out to the closest mark to the board for the length of the jump. I want the students to focus on taking accurate and consistent measurements as they gather data.  

To record the jumps, the students are recording both inches and fractions.  I set up a recording sheet with separate columns for the these measurements.  

One connection to make with the students as they are jumping is to the science concept of force and motion.  I ask the students to think of strategies that would make you jump further.  Would it be a deeper bend in your knees? How do arm movements have an effect on how far you jump.  Additional jumping attempts may be useful to strengthen this science connection. 




Wrap Up

5 minutes

To wrap up this activity and lesson, the students discuss does the sand need to be smooth, How does the smoothness or roughness of the sand change the measurements?  How would this be reflected in measuring long distances of roads and highways? 

The students discuss these options with their group, and a recorder writes their groups thoughts on the recording sheets.  The students will also record their thoughts in their math journals when we return to the classroom later in the day.