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measurement

how-tall-am-i

We have been continuing to talk about non-standard measurement in our full day kindergarten class.  One easy, yet fun activity for the children was to measure how tall they are. 

We decided to cut out circles and tape them to a wall.  We also numbered the circles from the bottom up.  This allowed us to reinforce the shape, as well as to reinforce number recognition.  We created a chart for the students where they could print their name, and guess how many circles tall they are.  We taped the chart to a shelf a few feet away from the circles.  Once a child wrote their name and recorded their guess, they walked to the circles and discovered the number of circles tall they actually were.  The children then came back to the chart and recorded their answers beside their guess.

talking-about-capacity-in-an-fdk-class

Capacity is not an easy concept for kindergarten children to learn.  In our Full Day Kindergarten class, we have been discussing non-standard measurements.  For capacity, we are using concrete objects to teach the students that capacity means “how much a container can hold”.

We sent a note home with each child asking parents to bring in an empty container from their household.  We assigned one day of the week to each student to bring that container in.  As a large group, we had the children whose day it was to bring in the container tell the other students about their choice of container.  On chart paper, we drew the containers as the children were describing it.

We then had all the students help us line those children with their containers up according to what the class thought was the smallest to biggest.  Once they were in order according to size, we had the children guess how many pegs the containers would hold.  Some containers generated several answers, so we had the children put up a quiet hand to vote on the number they thought and then wrote down the number that had the most hands raised. 

After we were done this as a large group, I took the children who brought in the containers over to a table as a small group.  We brought the chart paper with us.  In this small group, we counted pegs into the containers and then recorded our answers.  Once we were all done, we discussed if our “guesses” for numbers were more/less and if any of the containers surprised us with how much/little they could hold.

As I had this small group, the rest of the class went to various other measurement centers (which I will post during this week). 

After we were all finished, we met on our carpet as a large group again.  We reviewed how much each container could hold.  The student who brought in the container had the opportunity to explain it to the others (great opportunity for assessment/observation).

We will do this everyday this week, which gives us a chance to work with each child in the class in a small group.

measuring-in-our-class

One of the curriculum goals for mathematics is measuring in non-standard units.  So today, we introduced “taller/shorter/the same” to our classroom.

To begin, we used myself (5 ft. tall), my teaching partner (5.5 ft tall) and the EA in our classroom (5.9 ft tall) as our visual cues.  The 3 of us stood beside each other and then asked the class who was the shortest and who was the tallest.  I also showed them blocks and unifix cube towers to help them visually understand the concepts.

Once I thought the knew what each term meant, I gave a third of our class tongue depressors.  I then asked those children to find something in the classroom that was taller than their stick.  Once the students found their object, they showed them to the class holding the object beside the tongue depressor and we discussed how the objects were taller than the sticks.  Then children then put their “taller” objects away and gave their sticks to the other half of our class.  The next third of our class did the same task, only this time, they had to find an object that was “shorter” than the tongue depressors.  We repeated showing the items and discussing the concept of “shorter”.  We did the same activity with the last third of the class and “the same”.

While I was doing this activity, my teaching partner was writing down her observations for future assessments.

This activity worked as a great introduction to taller/shorter and to measuring things with non-standard units.  It got the children involved, so we weren’t just talking to them about it.  They were teaching us by finding and showing us the objects.

the-easter-bunny-came-early

Before the children arrived this morning, I took out the toys we had in our sand table and put plastic Easter eggs in it.  I bought various sizes and colours.  The children can use them for measurement, transferring sand, and for their imaginations.  When they came into class, a few of the children saw them in there and started yelling that the Easter Bunny had visited our classroom!  It was great.

The sand table had children at it all day!