Measurement Fun in Second Grade | Grade 2 Hullabaloo: Measurement Fun in Second Grade

Monday, February 22, 2016

Measurement Fun in Second Grade

Confession: I always dread teaching measurement.. almost as much as teaching time. Argh! This year, I decided that I was going to put it in the hands of my students as much as possible. No control freak. No micro managing. Here's how it's going:

We began with the traditional measuring with non-standard units. They got it. They've done this before in kindergarten and first grade. Thanks to the kindergarten and first grade teachers for setting a great foundation in measurement. 

Our math series, GO Math, is really packed with resources. So, when one of our lessons had us make a one-inch ruler on paper, it was the perfect transition from paper clips and cubes to standard measurements -- the inch.

I wanted my students to have as many measurement opportunities as possible. Let's face it, there are only so many times anyone can measure a picture of a pencil on paper and get excited about it. So, we measured gummy worms. What fun!

We began by estimating the length. We discussed strategies for estimating -- making a smart guess. One shining star said that he would use the colored sections of the gummy worm to estimate; each one looked to be about one inch long. Not only did he use a great strategy, he shared it with the class and exposed them to strategic thinking. 

We estimated, traced, and measured. It turns out that a gummy worm can stretch quite a bit! Mary Poppins says so! Get it? We also enjoyed eating an unstretched gummy worm at the completion of the lesson. I find gummy worms to be one of those candies that I don't care for, but I can't leave one unfinished. 

It's tough to convert inches to feet and feet to yards. Kiddos need many opportunities to convert. So, we made paper airplanes and gave them a spin! The tough part was folding the forgotten valentines. Yes, our Valentine's Day was so busy with candy-melting and other crazy fun that I forgot to give them my valentines. They didn't seem to mind one bit!

But, wait! There's more! We measured our hands from thumb to pinky. We measured our feet from big toe to heel. There's been all kinds of measurement going on in our room. Take a look at these Google Doodle-inspired illustrated hands and feet.

The fun continued today. We made paper footballs and measured how far we could "kick" them. Oh, I wish you could have seen the expressions on the boys' faces! The girls were excited, too, but the boys! 

In every lesson, I am stressing conversion from inches to feet and from feet to yards. It's so gratifying to overhear conversations about conversions. It's extremely heartwarming to hear friends helping other friends. 

There you have it: a handful of activities to spice up your measurement unit. Tomorrow, we're making poppers! More on that later!

Happy Monday!

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