Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Learner Express: Modules for Teaching and Learning
First-graders solve real-world measurement problems using standard and non-standard measuring tools. Students think strategically to choose the tools they think will be best for the task at hand. Run Time: 00:04:47
At the Lincoln School in Brookline, Massachusetts, Joe Reilly and his first graders solve real world measurement problems using standard and non-standard measuring devices. The class is divided into three groups with each group assigned a different measurement task. One group measures the tunnels in three ant farms. Since the tunnels are curvy, students must come up with ways to transfer non-linear distances onto a linear measuring device—a ruler. A second group, after consulting a reference book on dinosaurs, represents recorded lengths of various dinosaurs by marking these lengths off in the hallway adjacent to its classroom. The third group measures the distance from their third floor classroom to the playground below, using twine and plastic links, and then uses a ruler to measure these lengths via these materials. Mr. Reilly encourages students in all groups to discuss possible measurement strategies, to record their findings, and to share their procedures and results.
(Practice Standard)—Common Core Practice Standard #5—Use appropriate tools strategically—is evident in this first grade class when students are given the opportunity to choose how they will measure the distance from their third floor classroom window to the playground below. Mr. Reilly's students think strategically to choose the tools they use for this measurement task. Also, they think about the advantages and limitations of their tool choices when it comes to translating an indirectly measured distance into calculable amounts. One group chooses twine and then has to think about how to iterate unit lengths using a ruler. Another group uses plastic links and determines that counting each one-inch link gives them their distance measurement. The activity concludes with a discussion about strategic choices and the appropriateness of tools, so that advantages and limitations of tools can be assessed.
(Content Standard)—Measurement and Data—1.MD is the content domain that best encompasses the content of this lesson. The first graders are learning to "measure lengths indirectly and by iterating length units."
Non-standard and standard units of measurement were used in this lesson. What are the pros and con of this simultaneous use? When and how should issues of "accuracy" and "precision" be introduced in the measurement curriculum?
5. Use appropriate tools strategically
1.MD Measurement and Data