Our first graders have been very busy measuring Length!
They are working hard while learning their surroundings, by measuring objects that use every day!
Measuring is an important skill, people need to measure things throughout their lives, including weight, time and length. It’s not surprising, then, that measurement is a critical aspect of school mathematics in elementary school. Children’s early ideas about measurement, such as comparing sizes, form the basis for other important aspects of mathematical thinking and learning.
Learning how to measure with units can be hard for young children. Kids need to know about units and how to use them, first graders learned to line up paper clips, cubes, crayons and other nonstandard units so there aren’t any gaps, or understanding that units need to be the same size (using only paperclips or only cubes rather than mixing them) to get a consistent measurement. In some case children created units when units aren’t obvious, like using hand lengths to measure a window.
Using a ruler can help by giving children standard units, but learning how to use a ruler can be difficult, too. For example, lined up a crayon at the 3-inch mark on a ruler, and it reached the 5-inch mark. When asked how long the crayon is, kids might say it’s 5 inches long, though it’s actually 2 inches long. Even though kids know how to compare sizes, lengths, and amounts, they might not know how these comparisons relate to formal measuring using units.