Units of Measurement-Conventional and Invented

By Jenna Richter | March 29, 2016 | Mathematics

We are learning about measurements.  Last week we were able to apply these skills while we were at Green Bow Farm.  In order to construct Emmetts new chicken run, we had to measure wood, tarp and wire.

Harlow was assisted by Malcom in measuring the tarp to see if it would be long enough to shade the chicken run.
Harlow was assisted by Malcom in measuring the tarp to see if it would be long enough to shade the chicken run.

Teaching the basics is easier and more fun if the kids can learn kinesthetically and creatively.  Today, we discussed units of measurement including centimeters, inches, feet and yards and looked at tools like rulers, yard sticks and measuring tapes.  Next,  we went out into the hall and found an area to measure.  We measured from the door to the end of the wall.  First we measured in feet and then yards.

 

Each student had a ruler and counted then moved their ruler to the end of the line.
Each student had a ruler and counted then moved their ruler to the end of the line.

 

Next we tried out some unconventional measurements.  We measured by wingspan, child lengths, and  leg span.

It took just under four wingspans to make it to the end.
It took just under four wingspans to make it to the end.

 

 

Here was our head to toe child length measurements, just under three.
Here was our head to toe child length measurements, just under three.

 

Leg span measurement depends on flexibility as well as individual leg length.
Leg span measurement depends on flexibility as well as individual leg length.

 

Harlow thought we should try paces, and Louie decided to measure the way we measure horses, in hands.

 

17 Harlow paces to the end of the wall.
Seventeen Harlow paces to the end of the wall.

 

Louie measured it to be 39 Louie hands to the end of the wall.
Louie measured it to be 39 Louie hands to the end of the wall.

 

Our focus is learning to estimate, measure and describe lengths, widths and distance.  By doing this with our hands, feet, wings and bodies we help integrate that knowledge into different parts of the brain.