This year I wanted to start our measurement unit out with a fun inquiry. I created a very simple, yet very effective measurement inquiry. It took about 10 minutes and the kids completely got where we were headed.
This measurement inquiry is for the first grade common core standard 1.MD.A.1, ordering 3 objects by length.
I asked each table (6 students at each table) to pull out one item from their desk. Then I asked them to order them from shortest to tallest on the floor together, no other directions. Here is what I got:
I heard things like “Is this right?”, “What are we doing?”, “Just put them in a line”.
I walked around to each group with confusion on their faces, unsure how to put them together to make them shortest to tallest.
Then I walked around and put a piece of masking tape on the floor, labeling it with “s” & “l” and then gave the same direction. Order the items from shortest to longest. Here’s what I got after I put the tape down:
After we came to the carpet and had a quick chat about our inquiry. I asked them what made it easier for them to put the objects in order. My students started a discussion about how the tape let them have a place to start measuring the objects. I guided them to the conclusion that in order to put the objects in order from shortest to longest, we have to have a starting point and line up the end points.
It was a quick, easy inquiry, but my students were able to see right away the importance of lining up the objects’ end points. It was the perfect introduction to our ordering objects lesson and beginning of measurement unit.
After some practice, we did this quick little activity.
I gave my students some pictures and they had to order them from shortest to longest in matching groups. They loved it! With it being near Christmas, I made this Christmas-Themed activity you can grab for FREE HERE.
For more math ideas, make sure to check out my math Pinterest board!