As the students began to discuss their desire to help the people of New York rebuild their homes, they became involved with building these small versions of homes. How do we know we are building a good house? How tall will it be? The teacher began to question.
It was important to introduce measuring to the students so that they would have a better idea of what their structure could look like. The students began by using a ruler and measuring lines drawn on paper.
“All I have to do is write down the number where the line ends?” Alex asked as the teacher began to explain how to use a ruler. Alex then began to teacher others in her class. She began with Nohea and move on Tirza. They all thought that Alex was a great teacher. Learning becomes more effective when students can engage in active tasks. In order for Alex to be an effective teacher, she needed to be cognitively aware of how she learned the information and how she understood it so that she can then transfer her understanding to others. The lesson began to spread like wildfire. Other students started to teach others how to read the measuring tape and rulers.
Click on the following link to view one of our special moments in class where one child took the initiative in helping another child learn some of our measuring concepts……
After everyone became interested in measuring, they began to incorporate in everything. They began by putting together cardboard blocks and saw an opportunity to measure.
They measured the length and width. They determine which blocks were bigger and which ones they could use to make the best building.
What about this? Don’t we need to measure this? one of the students asked.
Soon, buildings began to appear. How tall is your building? the teacher inquired.
“It’s 22 tall and 11 this way,” Alex told the teacher.
Some of the students walked over to another structure that was in the process of being built. “We should build it this tall,” one of the students told the group she was working with.
“It’s going to look like this,” Isela said as she showed her team the plan.
With the number Teagan contributed and Isela’s building design, the girls created this. “Does it match your building design?” the teacher questioned.
They first began to measure to see if in fact the building was 43 inches tall.
But it was only 36 inches; they needed more blocks. They continued adding blocks until they reached their goal of 43 inches.
As the project continued, we focused on asking questions that required logical thinking. We do not want the children to measure only to produce a number, after all, there are reasons we have to measure.
We have mastered reading measuring tapes and rulers, and now it is time to use these skills for a greater purpose. If we really think about it, measurement is unnecessary when we are dealing with only one object or when two objects can be compared directly. For example, to compare two pencils directly, all we have to do is hold them side by side.
Measurement becomes necessary when we want to compare two or more objects indirectly. Now that we are progressing in our measurement skills, our projects will require a deeper investigation of measuring. For example: “How many more blocks do you think will we need to get our tower to 43 inches?” “Will the table fit in the doorway?” The questions ask for indirect comparisons for a purpose. They require the children logically about length and width.