The Early Years: Learning Measurementby: Peggy Ashbrook

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The world is filled with references to measurements that limit children's activities. It's no wonder children strive to be"big" when they often hear adults remarking, "That's too big a piece of cake for you," or "That's too far for you to walk". As they grow, children's understanding of the concept of measuring also grows as they have experiences that teach them the meaning behind adult's comments.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (5)
  • on Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:58 AM

Adults use statements like "You are not tall enough for this ride." Children want to be "big", but they do not have a concrete conception of what constitutes "big". As the author says...."Coins and hands are measurement tools that bridge from early “play” experiences to lessons teaching about measuring with standardized measuring tools." This article gives several inventive ways to help students learn about measurement.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:22 PM

Young children learn to use the length of their hands to measure height in the classroom. This is an introduction to the tools of a scientist and in particular actual measurement tools. PreK children often struggle with the concept of size. The standards for this age are expressed as an introduction to using simple available items that they use during play.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:15 PM

Another exemplary article from the Early Years series - this article provides a great understanding for how and why to introduce the topic of measurement using non-standard units. It also has fantastic resources for everything from further reading and trade books to websites on the topic.

Caryn Meirs  (Smithtown, NY)
Caryn Meirs (Smithtown, NY)

  • on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:42 PM

I thought this article explained a great example of teaching young children about measurement, and the lesson looks very easy to follow. When I was in elementary school I learned about measuring by using a ruler, but this article shares some fantastic examples of doing hands on activities. The article can also be incorporated into math when teaching a math unit on measurement. Although the article's activities relates mostly to younger children so it may be difficult to modify them to fit into older grades. Overall I enjoyed reading this and can see myself using some of the activities in my teaching.

Laura  (Regina, SK)
Laura (Regina, SK)

  • on Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:29 PM

I found thus article to basically state the obvious about children learning measurements and did teach me anything helpful or new. Of course young students learn measurements playing with blocks and such, also it is obvious that volume is much more difficult to teach. However, the example the article gave to teach volume was a bit strange and I will search for other ways. The "hands measurement" example was pretty good and I may look to use it in the future

Chris Dudek
Chris Dudek

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