This week the children investigated how they could measure without using any kind of standard measuring tool.  In order for them to be successful with this task, they first had to figure out what a “standard measuring tool” was.  Once they collectively came up with those, they then were able to put on their “thinking caps” to determine other ways we could measure tings around us.  Below are some of their ideas.  The following day the children were put to work to figure out how long the classroom was without using any of the standard measuring tools.  Below are some of the ways the children went about solving this challenge.

Using “longs” from our Base Ten Blocks

Using wooden blocks

Connecting links together

Using the length of one’s body

Using one’s arm span

Once they were done with this task, we analyzed our findings and discovered that no one got the same answer!  We had a discussion as to why this occurred?  Had everyone measured incorrectly? At that point some of the children made the connection that we didn’t get the same answers because everyone used different tools to measure with.  Then I posed the question “Why do you think we have standard units of measurement?”  After some ideas were given, it was identified that if we all measured with different tools, then all of our measurements would be different and your final product would not be exact.  This was a great connection to our units on “Group Membership” and “Sustainability and Production” where we’ve been talking about different foods and family recipes.