I have been teaching second grade FOR-EV-ER....really...almost twenty years so I have basically tried everything when it comes to every skill a second grader needs to know :)
I love teaching measurement and the kiddos love it too...they get to move around and really interact with each other...well that's the way I teach measurement anyway :)
I always begin my unit with a mentor-text titled Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy.
This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS!!! It is is a wonderful book to use as a springboard for a discussion on measurement. After we have our initial discussion, we make a T-Chart on Standard and Non-Standard units of measurement and we talk about the units that Lisa (the main character in the book) uses to measure.
Then I whip out my "Penny Ruler"...I get lots of "yays" and "cools" and they really get excited to get moving on measurement! I have been doing this activity for as long as I can remember, but I just updated it to be a bit more interactive for my kiddos.
This is how it works...First, the students put together their Penny Ruler which consists of little dogs (Penny :)...which is their non-standard unit of measurement they will use for the activity. Then I explain the mini-book and the concepts of wide=width, long=length, and tall=height. This tends to be a bit confusing for them, but they get the hang of it as they work through the activity. The students work together in pairs as they make their way around the room measuring classroom objects using their Non-Standard Penny Ruler! They absolutely love it and are completely engrossed and on-task the entire time..it's incredible how well they work when they are allowed to move around. Below are some pics that I took of my little ones completing the activity....
|Measuring the file cabinet with their Penny Ruler.|
|Measuring the window with their Penny Ruler|
|Measuring their leg with their Penny Ruler|
|Measuring the carpet with their Penny Ruler|
|Measuring the bookshelf with their Penny Ruler|
|Measuring the table with their Penny Ruler|
|Measuring their desk with their Penny Ruler|
|Working together to measure the rug.|