Making Sense of Math-Measurement


measurement pic

We are winding down our number sense weekly link-up and this week we are talk about measurement.  Marilyn Burns tells us that it’s important for students to have many different opportunities to use measurement.  Measurement builds number sense by having students make predictions and then allowing them to use measurement to check their prediction.


In all seriousness, have you ever met a kid that wasn’t intrigued with a ruler, tape measure or scale.  It exploration at it’s best and when we can add in numbers and counting . . . BONUS.  They are engaged and learning is happening.


In a kindergarten class that means that its important to give them lots of opportunities to explore the world around them using standard and nonstandard measurement.  At the beginning of the year, we use snap cubes and plastic links to measure just about everything in the classroom . . .




. . . a chair . . .


. . . school supplies . . .



even our feet.

In my math stations, students have the opportunity to make a prediction first . . .


then check their predictions.  I use both snap cubes and fun thematic rulers to make the activity more engaging.


When students complete their work, they always want to take their rulers around the room and explore other items for measurement comparing items against each other to see which items are bigger and smaller.


One of the most powerful measuring experiences I use is when I use children as my non-standard ‘ruler’ and we measure out very large items, like dinosaurs.  This is done every year during my dinosaur thematic unit where we study various kinds of dinosaurs and comparing to each other.   We make predictions about the new dinosaurs that are introduced each day and then record how big they really were in feet and in children.  There’s something pretty powerful about say a dinosaur was 12 kids long.  They absolutely LOVE this kind of non-standard measurement.  If you’d like to get your free copy of this activity, just click on the picture below.



I’d love to hear how you use measurement in your own classroom, so drop me a line and make sure you follow my friends and their measurement posts linked below.

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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