Wednesday, November 09, 2011

fall math.

Our math curriculum {Investigations} spends a lot of time on measurement and comparison in the first quarter.  While it offers a lot of games and activities, sometimes a kid just needs a, a teacher just needs a creative outlet?!


I took a measurement sheet from a teammate and then {my favorite} extended it to build a great discussion.  The worksheet had the students measure various objects in the room {a piece of string, the stapler, a pencil, their hands, etc} and record how many caterpillars long it was.
But then the discussion started...  Why was your pencil only 5 caterpillars if his was 6?  Did someone do it wrong?  What does it mean?  Why would it be shorter?  Well why was your hand 4 cubes if hers is only 2?  How did you measure?  What does that mean?  Why are the answers different?

Their discussion was so good that I couldn't help but record it and hang their statements up with their work samples.  Way to think Kinders!

And of course we couldn't let measurement go by without measuring something fall-ish!  After they were proud of themselves for being smarter than me ;) in the previous discussion, I tried 'em again to see if they could explain their strategies {and different answers} by making the tool the variable.  They all measured the same pumpkin lengths but got to choose one of three tools and were only given at a time instead of lining them up to count!


We made towers of 10 and hunted around the room for things that were longer or shorter than our tower.  The second time we played we recorded in 3 columns and included things that were equal.  They drew a picture of the item and labeled it {for a challenge}.

Another favorite game is a spin off of an old Math Their Way game.  We call it Stack Tell Roll & Win. Sounds complicated.  But it's not.  And the kids love it!

Stack a tower of 10.  Put it behind your back and break it into 2.  Choose a piece to bring forward and show your partner.

Tell whose has more/less.  "I have more."  "I have less."  Roll the dice.  If it lands on L, the person with less takes all the cubes to add to their tower.  {If it lands on M the person with more takes all the cubes.}  Keep playing until one person has all 20 cubes.

 After reading Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, we decided to see how long our names were!
Count the letters in a friend's name.  Take one cube for each letter.  Make a tower to count and double check.  Repeat with a second name.  Tell whose is longer and shorter!

Again with fall, we made spider webs crawling with spiders.  The amount was up to the kids {BUT!} one had to have more and one had to have less.  I extended it to have the students write a sentence or two.


  1. Awesome! I love math time! thanks for sharing your ideas; I'll be incorporating a few into next week's plans!


  2. So I just discovered your blog and I am soooooo happy I did. I have been searching far and wide for some fun and creative hands on math activities to do with my kiddos that incorporate measuring. When you mentioned you read Chrysanthemum and managed to make it a measurement lesson I became your biggest fan:)
    Awesome ideas!
    I'm your newest follower!

    Miss S(jaana)
    Just Teaching....Kindergarten

  3. Hi Jaana! Welcome! :) It's always fun to have new readers. If you need more measurement ideas let me know. I have a ton...


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