Math 2 Measurement Project

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"Math 2 Measurement Project"

```					                                   Measuring Skills
K. Maxwell, S. Trueman, K.L. Hickman
Curricular Outcomes – Math 2:
Shape & Space 2, 3, 4
Statistics & Probability: 1

Teacher Lesson                            Guided Practice /                          Student Work
Class Discussion

Overview: Students will develop their own nonstandard units of measure and use them to design various
accessories for their stuffed animal.

Introduction: How Big Is A Foot?        By Rolf Myller
The teacher reads How Big Is A Foot (or a similar book) to the class and discuss the results when
body parts are used to measure things.

Premise of the book: The king wants to make a bed for his wife. He uses his foot to measure the size needed
and has problems because the apprentice who makes the bed, has a different sized foot.
*For Black Gold teachers, this book is available to borrow through the AISI library. Contact

The teacher reads How Big Is A Foot (or a similar book) to the class and discuss the results when body parts
are used to measure things.

Lesson: Structured Vocabulary
The teacher introduces various vocabulary terms (longer than, shorter than, standard, non-standard,
etc) and reviews them with the students.

The teacher reads Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy with the students (also available through the AISI
library) which explores many of the vocabulary terms.

Pick a Stuffed Animal: Group assignments
The teacher places students in groups of 4-5 students and assigns them a stuffed animal. The
stuffed animals should be named for easier comparison later.

The class discussed what could be measured on the stuffed animals (ie length of nose). Students use the
vocabulary learned in previous lesson.
Teacher Lesson                             Guided Practice /                         Student Work
Class Discussion

Classifying the Measurements: Small, Medium, Large
The teacher leads the class in a discussion about whether items would need a small unit of
measurement, a medium unit of measurement or a large unit of measurement.

For example: the width of a nose would need a small unit of measurement, whereas the total length of the
stuffed animal would need a large unit of measurement.

*This is a very important piece and should be discussed at length so students have a good understanding of
this concept.

Practice: Measuring Using Body Parts
Students measure different parts of their stuffed animal, using their fingers, hands, etc. Students
can share and compare their results using comparative language (longer than, shorter than, etc.)

Creating a Ruler
The teacher leads the class in a discussion about the results of their measurements with their body
parts and leads them to the fact that they need a common unit of measurement.

Students need to create a ruler with non-standard units of measurement. The teacher should have a
brainstorming session with the students to discuss possible items that could be used (notepads, paper clips,
pencils, etc.) Groups can come up with ideas, but at the end, a consensus needs to be made on which units the
class will be using. The unit of measure has to be smaller than the item being measured.

Making A Ruler
Using the unit of measures decided upon by the class, the teacher makes a blackline master ruler
that the students can then reproduce. The rulers should be 10 units long. Students need to be
reminded that there should be no gaps, nor overlaps and they should be labeled. The teacher
should verify the rulers.

Measuring: Using the Rulers
Groups then measure various parts of their stuffed animal and record their results on a chart. It is
advisable to have several items for each category. When recording, students can use
abbreviations decided upon by the class. (ie 3 s.p. for 3 stickie pads)

The teacher should have a discussion with the class about what constitutes an “exactly” or an “in between”
measurement and students should label their measurements accordingly. For example: exactly 3 psr for
exactly 3 pencil stick rulers. The importance of being precise should be stressed to the students.
Within the groups, two students measure the same item, without sharing their answers. If there is a difference,
the third member also measures, and acts as a “tie breaker”.

*This portion of the project requires a lot of monitoring by the teacher.

Students hand in their measurement charts to the teacher, who types it onto a master chart that can be
projected for the whole class to see.
Teacher Lesson                              Guided Practice /                          Student Work
Class Discussion

Comparisons: Whose nose is bigger/smaller?

As a class, the teacher will lead the students into making a comparison between two items on the
chart. For example: Tux’s tail is 2 psr (pencil stick ruler) longer around than Sandy’s. Tuck’s tail is
the same length around as Ellie’s. Tux’s tail is 1 pst shorter around than Spot’s. This is modeled first by the
teacher, then each student writes two sentences of their own. Students should be reminded that they cannot
compare “exactly” measurements with “in between” measurements. They can only compare exact
measurements with other exact measurements, and in-between measurements with other in-between
measurements.

Poster
Each group makes a poster of their stuffed animal and glues the comparison sentences on the
poster. The teacher should check the sentences for accuracy prior to the students gluing them onto
the poster.

Weight
The teacher introduces the concept of weight and discusses how it can be measured (ie arms). The
goal should be that the students understand that non-standard units of weight are not reliable and
a standard unit of measure is needed. Again, examples can be brainstormed (ie bread bag clips,
wood beads, unifix cubes, wood sticks). Students, in groups, are to determine their units of measurement as
they did with length. Once they have determined what weight unit will be used, the teacher will model how to
measure the items, by putting the item on one side of the balance scale and the units on the other.

Teacher Preparation: Food Bags
Each stuffed animal needs a food bag prepared. Bags can be filled with anything from pasta to
beads. Bags should be sealed and remain sealed until the end of the next portion of the project.

Weight Practice
Students use the balance scale and the units of measure to complete the attached weight table. *If
the weight is over 25 units, the units of measure chosen were probably too light. Once the table is
completed, students are to complete comparison sentences as they did with length. (For example:
Sandy’s food is 12 wood sticks heavier than Spot’s food.) Once the measurement comparisons have been
done, students can open their bag to see what their stuffed animal eats.

Collar Design
Using their measurements for the length around the stuffed animal’s neck, students are to make a
collar for their stuffed animal. The collar should be made with sturdy paper, like posterboard.
Students should get the measurements from their tables. Students should be instructed to leave a
little extra length on their collars so they can be stapled or glued together.

Using foam shapes or stickers, or drawings, students decorate their collars by a growing pattern (either shape
or color).
Teacher Lesson                            Guided Practice /                          Student Work
Class Discussion

Mat Design
Using their measurements for the total length of the stuffed animal, students are to make a mat for
their stuffed animal. Students should get the measurements from their tables.

To decorate the mats, students used pre-cut 5 cm x 5 cm squares. A grid was glued onto the mat to facilitate
decorating with the squares. Students glued the shapes onto the grid to show a repeating pattern. The core
had to have 3-5 elements with a repeating double attribute (for example: same shape, and color,
alternating size). Students must decide on a pattern and then sort the shapes and/or colors for that pattern.

*As the students are in groups of 4-5 students, some students work on the collar and some work on the mat.
The collar is quicker than the mat, so those students can help with the mat after the collar is done.

Testing the collars and the mats
Students put the collars on the stuffed animals and lay the stuffed animals on the mats. The final
assessment is based on whether the collar and mat were the appropriate size.

Assessment:
Students can complete the test.
Observations were made during the activity.
The students tested the collars and mats to see if they fit the stuffed animals.

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