During this past Friday and Tuesday’s “Katie Days” our math time has been focusing on measurement. In Kindergarten measurement includes the learners learning length and linear measurement through measuring by direct comparison. Which is longer? Which is shorter? They measure with non-standard units such as interlocking cubes. They also begin to think about the different dimensions of objects and develop an understanding that many measurements are not reported in whole numbers.

First graders are learning the above concepts as well as beginning to explore what happens when something is measured with small units versus larger units. They begin to see that measuring an object in cubes will result in a different count than measuring the same object in inch tiles or paper clips, and may also begin to see the inverse relationship between the size of unit and the number of units needed to cover a distance.

In our classroom we started by talking and coming up with a list of rules that you always have to remember when measuring with non-standard units of measurement. For example, your units all have to be the same size (if you’re measuring with paper clips make sure they’re all the small size, or all big, not a combo!). Other rules included: no spaces between your measuring units, the tools always have to start at the edge of whatever you’re measuring and the tools need to be in a straight line. So far we have measured with paper clips, unifix cubes, even marshmallows and goldfish crackers!

First grade time has been focusing on surveys: taking surveys, organizing and interpreting that data and creating a visual representation of the results.  In this mini unit, learners are introduced to several standard forms of representation, including picture graphs, tallies, charts and bar graphs. And then through discussing and comparing representations, learners consider how best to communicate a clear description of their data.

More specifically, in pairs, the first graders came up with a question that they would like to survey their fellow classmates with (do you like cats or dogs better? would you rather be invisible or fly? would you rather be hot or cold?) and figured out how they would record their responses (graph, checklist, tally marks, with towers of interlocking cubes). Then they posed their question to the other first graders, recorded the responses, and counted and recorded the results. Each pair presented their results to the rest of the class and we talked about what worked, what didn’t work as well and anything that surprised them. A common challenge was figuring out ways to keep track of who responded to the questions. Next week we will be doing larger surveys and will use all that we learned!

Our art project was creating a painting of spring blossoms based on Chinese calligraphy paintings.

Lastly, if you’re still reading this…thank you! One last request: on St. Patrick’s Day leprechauns often visit the classroom. Next Friday (3/14) we will be making traps to catch these clever little creatures.  To that end, we need some trap-making materials. If you have any of the following at home, please it send to school either this week or next:

  • Cardboard tubes (toilet paper, paper towel)
  • Berry baskets
  • Small boxes, no larger than a berry basket
  • Small plastic cups and lids (such as yogurt containers)
  • Little interesting doo-dads like leprechauns might find interesting, such as buttons, ribbons, pieces of foil, etc….

Please enjoy the following pictures from Tuesday: