Thursday, September 13, 2012

Measurement: Height

Measurement: Height!

My school used Everyday Mathematics for many years.  One of my favorite activities from that curriculum I adapted to use with K.MD.1 and K.MD.2.  This activity requires some prep work on your part, but if you laminate the paper before cutting it, it will last you a VERY long time.   

Here is a picture of it in action, then I will explain:

What these two (older threes class) students are doing is comparing two strips of yellow poster board.  I took one regular-sized poster board and laminated it.  I then cut it into ten different sizes strips.  Each size had two strips that matched.  Took a bit of planning, but if you use two pieces of posterboard it may be easier.  The students were randomly handed out a strip.  This was a lesson on height; but was used a second time for length; just hold the strips horizontally instead of vertically.

The students were then charged with the task of finding the strip that was the same size as theirs.  You can see two students lining up the strips and checking to see if they are the same.  Once you found your match, you sat down with your partner so everyone knew you were not available anymore.  This is why you see some students sitting in the background.  Vocabulary for this lesson was: SAME, COMPARE, HEIGHT, VERTICAL.  The next lesson the students again received a strip.  I separated them into two groups; one group stood up with their strips and held them vertically.  The other group had to compare their strip to the standers and find one that was either shorter or longer than someone else's strip.  I made sure to keep one of the shortest and one of the longest strip for me, and when it came close to the end, I would hold up whichever strip was needed and reminded the kids not to forget to compare theirs to mine!  This was no one was stuck with no partner.  I allowed multiples in the partners; the student with a really short strip tended to have a bunch of members from the other team with them at the end.  The searchers then became the standers and the new searchers then had to find the opposite size than had been asked before.  New vocabulary: SHORT, TALL, SHORTER, TALLER.

A third activity had groups of three to five students placing their strips in size order.  This of course is a higher grade level activity, but they were very capable of doing it and they loved the strips.  Vocabulary for that lesson added: SHORTEST and TALLEST.  I used this opportunity to discuss the suffixes -er and -est and when to use them.

Here is my messy portable white board at the end of the ordering sizes lesson. 

Buildings came from KidsSoup.  You can also offer architecture or picture books of buildings and in small groups/centers/workstations have the children look thru the books and discuss the heights of the buildings.  You can turn it into a writing activity as well.

I do use real math vocabulary words with ALL my students. Horizontal  and vertical are not hard words; no words are.  They can learn them just as easily as any other word. 


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