Fishy Tales

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SWBAT tell how long an object is by measuring it using paper clips and comparing it to other objects measured with the same non-standard unit of measurement.

Big Idea

Young children need repeated experiences in a single area to promote independence and conceptual understanding. This lesson provides kinders with additional non-standard units of measurement experience to support what they've learned.

Daily Calendar & Counting Review

15 minutes

Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.

Calendar Time:

We do calendar on Starfall every afternoon.  This website has free reading and math resources for primary teachers. It also has a  “more” option that requires paying a yearly fee. The calendar use is free. A detailed description of Daily Calendar math is included in the resources.

Counting with online sources: Today we did counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. We watched two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) because some of my students students were still struggling with identifying numbers correctly in random order. We watched"Shawn the Train" and counted objects with him to refresh our memories on how to count objects to ten and to reinforce one to one counting. Since we have started the second quarter of the school year, we added to today's counting practice: counting to 20 forward and backcounting by tens to 100 and counting to 100by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.

Direct Instruction

10 minutes

I read a story called, Short and Tall. I think aloud while I read through each page. We discuss how the objects are compared and how we know which ones are taller or longer and which ones are shorter.

I then show objects to the kids by holding them up side by side and asking them which are shorter or which are longer. This provides them with an active way to learn and use the math vocabulary in this lesson.

I demonstrate how to measure objects with paperclips under the doc cam. After a couple of examples, I have the kids tell me how to do it step by step so I know they are ready to try it with me.

Guided Instruction

10 minutes

I have the kids go to their tables and I pass out a container of paper clips to each table along with with a bag of different sized fish for them to measure. (I've put some pictures into a powerpoint - they are all about the same size but because they are in slides, you can size them differently. I threw in some crabs for students who may need a challenge.)

I guide the kids through the process of choosing a fish, measuring with the paper clips and comparing their measurements to find the shortest and tallest fish at the table. The table captain goes first. Fish are scattered face-down on tables.

1) Choose a random fish (Suggest you tell the students they have "three seconds" - so they don't waste time).

2) Line up paperclips inside the fish until you have covered the length.

3) Count the clips and see who's fish is the shortest at your table.

4) See who's fish is the longest.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

The kids get it in two rounds so I hand the activity over to them and they begin measuring and comparing on their own.

I roam the room assisting kids with lining up the paperclips accurately and ask them what they are doing and what information they are getting from lining up the paperclips in the fish from head to tail.

I also ask if they can show me how they know which fish are shorter and which fish are longer.

Once they have individually measured the fish, they are asked to line them up in order from shortest to longest working as a table. I allow them to decide how it is best to do this. Each table does it somewhat differently, but accurately.

I am looking for a basic understanding of measure, not independent mastery as it is only an introductory concept in kinder.


10 minutes

Since this is the first time the kids experience measuring with non-standard units of measure (paper clips), I spend a little more time on the closure with them to make sure they are grasping the how's and the why's of the concept.

 I ask kids (randomly draw names from a name stick can) to explain how they measured their fish. I also ask them to explain why it is an important to be able to measure things.

I ask the kids to name jobs and activities that require someone to be able to measure objects. One student says his dad is a tile layer and he has to measure everyday with a measuring tape. We talk about how measuring with paper clips is like measuring with a measuring tape.We end the discussion by talking about other ways we can measure objects.