Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Math
- child safety scissors
- chart paper
- traditional measuring tools, such as ruler and tape measure
- nontraditional measuring tools, including: paper tubes, wooden blocks, large paperclips, connecting blocks such as Duplo, Lego(R), or Unifix cubes, yarn or string, stacking pegs
Objective: Children will develop creative-thinking, math, and social skills as they use nontraditional measuring tools.
In Advance: Place nontraditional measuring tools in separate containers in the center of the meeting area.
- Talk with children about measuring. Ask if they have ever measured something or seen something being measured. Have they been measured? Pass around the rules tape measure, and any other traditional measuring tools you have.
- Show children the items you have collected and explain that they can use these items as measuring tools. Demonstrate how to measure something using these items.
- Begin by asking each child to choose an item and measure the length of her feet. Assist her in counting the number of each material used to create a measurement. Record the different measurements on chart paper. Engage the group in a discussion about the different materials used.
- Now ask each child to choose a material to measure her height. Encourage the group to assist each other as they investigate with the different materials. Record their measurements.
- Ask children to find something else in the classroom to measure. Can they find out how many blocks wide the classroom is or how many markers high the table is?
- After everyone has had a turn, review the different measurements. Talk about different things in the classroom that are the same size ("The teddy and the book are both four blocks high"). Also discuss the different measurements an item can have ("The truck is four paperclips or two paper tubes long"). Keep the nontraditional materials in the math area for children to use for additional math investigations.
Curriculum Connection: PROBLEM SOLVING
What's Missing? Place several objects in the center of your meeting area. Ask the group to look at the materials, then close their eyes. Remove one object. Can they guess what is missing? Ask them to close their eyes again and remove two objects. What's missing now? Add more objects and continue the game. Place the materials in a basket and invite children to play the game with friends.
Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
Length by Henry Arthur Pluckrose
Ten Beads Tall by Pam Adams