Monday, July 11, 2011

Measurement Work Stations

I think my goal for next year will be trying to integrate the teaching of measurement all year long instead of just during the measurement chapter in our math book. In the past one way I have tried to sneak in measuring throughout the year is by connecting it to seasonal themes. For example, during October we always take a field trip to the pumpkin patch. We then learn how to estimate and measure how tall our pumpkins are with unifix cubes and a ruler, measure the circumference of the pumpkin with a piece of string, and even weigh the pumpkins on the nurse's scale! The kids love our pumpkin math! I also have used candy hearts on Valentine's Day and jellybeans in the spring to let the kids do some measuring with nonstandard units.

I have found that kindergarteners love learning measurement through lots of open exploration. One of the activities that my students always enjoy doing is using all sorts of measuring cups and tools to scoop and measure things in our discovery table (sand, water, beans, etc.). Comparing weights using a balance is also usually a very popular activity--kids love to get their hands on that balance! I also always let the kids have fun measuring anything they want to in our room with just about any measuring tool they want (unifix cubes, links, rulers, etc.). Just add a recording sheet to any of these activities and they would make a great measurement work station.

There are also lots of great children's books you can use to teach about measurement. One good book to introduce measuring length in standard and nonstandard units is Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy; it's about a little girl and her dog who go around measuring lots of things in their world. Another good book to introduce measuring is How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller. A great book to teach about telling time to the hour is The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle.

At my school, kindergarteners are expected to learn how to tell time to the hour. Here is a game I made for my students to play after reading The Grouchy Ladybug. Students take turns spinning a time on the spinner and then covering up the corresponding clock on their game board with a ladybug counter. Click here to download What Time Is It?
Another game I made for my students to learn about telling time to the hour is: Pick a Time. I used a package of foam shapes I got from the dollar spot at Target to make the game pieces (but you could also use small pieces of paper or other manipulatives). I wrote different times on the foam shapes, and students take turns pulling a shape out of the bag and reading the time on it. Students can then cover up the corresponding clock on their game board with the game piece. Click here to download a copy of this game.

I hope you got some fun new ideas for measurement activities you can add to your math work stations. For some more great ideas, head over to Lory's page since she is hosting this chapter of the math work stations linky party.


  1. Meredith,
    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. I purchased a few packages of the same shapes at Target... great idea for them ;)
    Lory's Page

  2. Meredith, Thank you for sharing your great ideas! What I am loving about using the shapes with the times on them, is that it reinforces the vocabulary of geometry. Just imagine the Math Talk card: "I picked a ___________ that said _________." Example: "I picked out a triangle that said 2:00"
    An Open Door

  3. Love your games! We read The Grouchy Ladybug every year...the kids just love that story! I can't wait to share your ladybug telling time game with the class this school year. Great idea for those foam shapes...I wanted to buy them, but wasn't sure what to use them for and I already spent $$$$! I guess I have to go back and pick some up! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I love all of your ideas. I agree. I will teach measurement for much longer than I currently do. My students love learning about telling time. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is great. I too bought those shapes. Can I ask where you found your clock clip art. I've been searching for some to make class schedules
    Time 4 Kindergarten

  6. Hi Tiffani,
    I found free clock clipart at this website:

  7. NOW I HAVE TO GO BACK TO TARGET!!!!! hahahah! thanks a lot! lol, no really though, thanks!!

    Miss Kindergarten