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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Practical maths

This week in year 2 I have been teaching the children about units of measure for measuring length and height. We began with millimetres and centimetres as I had decided to start small and go larger.

We began by looking closely at a ruler on the visualiser and demonstrating to the children how I measured a couple of items. The children were then given the opportunity to measure a selection of items around the classroom, which they were told should be smaller than a 30cm ruler. They thoroughly enjoyed it and it helped them become more familiar with manipulating rulers and understanding what they were reading. 

The next step was to measure lines as accurately as possible and then to draw lines of a given measurement. I have to say they all managed this remarkably well, due in part to the earlier practical activity. 

For the next lesson I asked the pupils how they thought I could measure the length of classroom. Could I use a ruler? They did think, pair,  share and came back with some good and some bizarre ideas about what equipment I should use and what unit of measure it should be. After this discussion I showed them a metre ruler and a trundle wheel, allowing them to look at them and discover what unit of measure they are. 

We then divided up into four groups, one outside measuring the length of the playground, one measuring the length of the corridor, one group measuring the classroom and a final group measuring height. They then rotated around the groups discussing, measuring, exploring as they went as well as recording results. 
It was a logistical nightmare, organising 34 children and three other adults but was well worth it. 

To assess their new found knowledge I gave them photographs of each other measuring and asked them to describe what they were measuring, what equipment was used, what unit of measure and what their results were.

A great time was had by all but more importantly in the assessment that followed they all excelled. With only the odd mix up of centimetres and metres. Not bad for 34 six and seven year olds. 

Measuring mass next, which again lends itself to a practical lesson so chaos here we come again!