Measurement in Grade One

This year in grade one we will be exploring the concept of measurement in many different ways that are meaningful to the children.  The children will have many opportunities to measure, compare and describe lengths, heights, weight, the passage of time, and changes in temperature.

  • We will be keeping a Growth Observation Book to keep track of, and compare, our height over time. Throughout the year the children will use small non-standard objects such as unifix cubes to record their height.  They will use string to measure themselves and compare their growth with their friends.  Measuring with small objects helps students build an understanding of measurement that will be useful later when they learn to use standard units (eg. centimetres and metres) and measuring tools such as rulers and measuring tapes. While using these non-standard materials measurement terms such as longer, shorter, taller, and the same as will become part of your child’s regular math vocabulary.
  • We will be using our classroom clock (analogue) and our hallway clocks (digital) to determine the times of our nutrition breaks and other classroom events and to figure out how much time we have left to do something.
  • During our calendar discussions, we will often use the Weather Network School Day Forecast (Click For Link) for our school in order to talk about the weather and changes in temperature.  This link will be useful in helping us decide how to dress appropriately based on the weather and how changes in the weather throughout the day may affect our clothing choices.  We will also be discussing how the temperature affects our classroom tree and other things we observe outside our wonder window during our outdoor exploration times and community walks.
  • Throughout our school day we often visit our classroom calendar  and our daily visual schedule to discuss the passage of time over the day, the week, the month and even the year.  We will continually look back over the events of the year by revisiting previous month’s calendars in order for the children to build a better understanding of the passage of time.  We will create timelines of our lives later this year to better help your child understand this concept which is also part of the Social Studies Curriculum.

Making connections to what we are learning in measurement at school is easy to do at home. Try these activities with your child:

  • Use everyday situations to compare and describe lengths, heights, and areas of objects. Ask questions such as: Will this box fit on the shelf? How much ribbon do we need to wrap this present? How can we put these books on the shelf? In order of height?
  • Use measurements to solve mysteries about people in your household. Find out who is the tallest, who has the shortest foot, and so on. Encourage your child to suggest a way to solve each mystery.
  • Have your child make a personal measuring tape by linking 10 paperclips together. Go on a scavenger hunt to find things that are longer, shorter, and about the same length as the paper clip measuring tape.
  • Talk/think aloud as you use the calendars and clocks in your home.  Your child will develop the skills necessary to use these tools if he or she is involved with them regularly.  Showing them what 5 minutes (or other amounts of time) looks like on the clock may help them become more patient when waiting for you as well!
  • Use a scale to weigh your child and fruits and vegetables in the grocery store and involve him or her in vet visits so he or she can see how different people use scales.