Mathematics Foundation: 5 - Measurement

Topic: M5.2 - Understanding measurement through description and comparison

Measurement is all around us. Measurement helps us to know when to go to school, how to prepare a certain food, or how cold or warm it is outside.

The development of measurement skills leads to:
*Understanding the process and importance of measurement
*Awareness of the need for standard measurement
*Beginning to use appropriate tools and techniques to measure
*Describing objects in terms of their measurement
*Understanding comparisons (i.e. which is taller, heavier, hotter, etc.)

Looking Ahead to Kindergarten Family Engagement Special Populations
Kindergarteners will be expected to make direct comparisons of the length, capacity, weight, and temperature of objects. They should be able to recognize which object is shorter, taller, lighter, heavier, warmer, cooler, or holds more (K.M.1). Encourage families to:

*Show their child and involve them in how measurement is used on a daily basis (e.g. make food with their child and talk specifically about measurements according to recipes).
*Measure things around their home with non-standard units of measurement (e.g. using plastic cups and stacking them to see how tall something is).

Educators can:

*Offer children the chance to work with objects and images in order to master vocabulary.
*For DLL, provide extra support by incorporating visuals, using gestures, and displaying graphs to illustrate math concepts such as comparison of different items.

Powerful Practices
Across all developmental stages, educators can:

*Ensure measurement tools are easily accessible.
*Provide materials for non-standard units of measurement (e.g. unifix cubes, chain links etc.).
*Use and encourage children to use measurement vocabulary such as tall, taller, tallest, heavy, heavier, and heaviest.
*Ask open-ended questions about the properties of materials.

Infant

Provide diverse objects for infants to freely explore in a variety of shapes and sizes

Offer different sized containers that allow for filling and dumping of items

Younger Toddler
Model basic measurement words (e.g. big/little, hot/cold)

Read books that include concepts of measure such as big/small

Offer a variety of measurement tools in all learning areas

Older Toddler
Provide a variety of materials for children to sort and encourage them to sort by two attributes (e.g. animals with and without spots or cars versus trucks)

Model measurement using non-standard tools (e.g. shoes, hands, blocks)

Younger Preschool
Provide a variety of materials and tools to measure length, height, and volume

Create opportunities for children to utilize measurement materials and tools (e.g. sensory play with water and bowls)

Go on a “size” hunt to find things outdoors of different sizes (e.g. something smaller than our finger, bigger than our hand, longer than our leg, etc.)

Set up a measurement exploration center with rulers, tape measures, and scales, as well as paper and pencil to recording findings

Older Preschool
Provide a variety of materials and tools to measure length, height, and volume

Create opportunities for children utilize measurement materials and tools (e.g. sensory play with water and measuring cups, as well as small group cooking activities)

Provide and create books about size and measurement, and ensure books are accessible to children

Set up a measurement exploration center with rulers, tape measures, and scales, as well as paper and pencil to recording findings