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Drawing Conclusions About Non-Standard Measuring Tools

Posted on : 30-12-2009 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Estimation, K-2 Estimation, K-2 Measurement, Measurement



The websites:



Classroom Applications:


Introduce students to non-standard measuring tools with this online video.  After the first student on the video has measured the given distance in footsteps, pause the video and ask your students what result they would expect if another student were to measure the same distance in footsteps.  What would happen to the measurement if the second student’s foot size was larger?  What would happen if their foot size was smaller?


nonstandard-measurementUse the second website to practice measuring with non-standard measuring tools (in this case, cinnamon rolls.)  When completing the activity as a whole class, turn it into a game by putting your class into teams and having each team estimate how many cinnamon rolls long each pan is before measuring.  Each team is given a point for the number of cinnamon rolls their estimate was away from actual number measured.  As in golf, for this game the goal is to score the least number of points.  To continue playing after the activity is completed, re-start the activity and pause it on the screen that displays the pans.  Use other objects in your interactive whiteboard’s gallery as non-standard measuring tools. 


Extension:  Have each team create a chart and record:  each object used as a non-standard measuring tool, their length estimates for the pans using each object, and the actual measurements of the pans using each object.  Half-way through the activity, ask students to refer to their charts and use that information to draw a conclusion about the relationship between an object’s length and the number of that object required to complete a measurement.


Discussion:  Conclude the lesson with a discussion about the positives and negatives of non-standard measuring tools.  Discuss reasons standard measuring tools are necessary.  Brainstorm a list of standard measuring tools and discuss situations where each would be most useful.


Comments (4)

I checked out the links you provided and I wanted to let you know that they were amazing!!! The Professor Garfield site has some amazing activities. As an educator and a parent, it’s nice to be able to have access to resources that are fun and engaging that actually have some educational value. Usually my daughter wants to go to barbie.com but we went onto the professorgarfield.com and there’s a link to creating your own comic. You can add in your own text too. It’s awesome!! Thanks so much for passing along such great resources!!


Thank your for your comment. I’m so glad you and your daughter are enjoying the Professor Garfield site, and I am pleased you found the create a comic link! Happy animating!

I read this post at the perfect time, we have students who are just working with non-standard units of measurement. I have passed along your ideas and excellent extension to our teachers. Thank you!


Great timing! I hope the links and ideas are helpful for your teachers. Please share with them that “How Big Is A Foot?” by Rolf Myller is a wonderful read aloud to stimulate discussion of non-standard measurment.