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Measurement Kits for open ended fun and learning

Published 12 months ago by Ann Baker


A measurement kit you might ask?

We use these kits to explore strategies around transititivity, measurement and more.

Here are a group of lower primary teachers using the kits and exploring the possibilities.

Maths Language, Tools And Fun - Simply Measures Up

First the teachers were asked, as were the year 2/3 class later in the day, to play with the pieces and see what they could do with them. The teachers launched in more playfully than the students did later on, which delightfully surprised us all. It made me wonder, does this mean we do not give enough time to free play and exploration of materials?

Supporting students to engage in explorations like this, one can use a Mental Routine. Want to know how to create these? Check out our online course here.

The closed questions allow immersion in the language, and concepts of direct comparison and questions such as 'I am thinking of the object that is longer than the straw but shorter than the pipe cleaner, what is it?'

As we immersed the students in the language, we created a matching vocabulary anchor chart for the students to refer to during the flip questions game 'Guess My Object'.

Free Play Gets The Creative Juices Flowing

The teacher image above shows the beginnings of free play. Two teachers couldn't wait to have a frog jumping competition - note the starting line. Funnily enough the students didn't think this way!

FYI - all of the bits came from a dollar dazzler type store called 'Cheap as Chips'. I made 28 kits for about $20.

Of course the bits can be recycled for other activities or some of the kits could be used for take home activity.

The kits were then offered to three students each day to take home. We included a little booklet and instructions asking what they can measure with bits. Findings were recorded in the booklets and shared at school next day. Everyone had a turn over time. And if the kits don't come back. Well and good, perhaps they are being enjoyed too much, which is a good thing.

What Was Learned?

The teachers were asked to observe the extent to which their students:

For more about the developmental approach to teaching linear measurement and to find units of working that build conservation, transitivity and iteration see our linear measurement books one, two and three.

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