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Bonnie Palmer

Week 5 Prep Notes

K-2 p. 293-296; 3-5 p. 208-209, p.196-198, Ch. 16
Comparison Activities

Physical Models of Measuring Units

Length (found by
locating two endpoints
and examining how far
it is between those

Convert measures in the same system to larger

or smaller units

Area (the 2D space

inside a region)

Cutting a shape into two parts and reassembling

it in a different shape

Number lines (essential to teaching fractions)

Fraction strips
Cuisenaire rods
Measuring tools (ruler, measuring tape, measuring cup, or
Folded paper stripes
Nonstandard units: index cards, playing cards, round counters
or chips, pennies, cardboard squares, sheets of newspaper,
pattern blocks
Standard units: color tiles, white Cuisenaire rods or the unit
cube from base-ten blocks
Outline a region for students to cover
Measure surfaces like desktops, bulletin boards, and books

Volume and Capacity

(measures of the size
of 3D regions)

Fill one container with something and then pour

this amount into the comparison container
Help students realize that surface area does not
determine volume, but that there is a
relationship between surface area and volume

Units: solid units (things like wooden cubes or old tennis balls
that can be used to fill the container being measured) or
containers (small container that is filled and poured
repeatedly into the container being measured)
Liquid medicine cups, plastic jars and containers of almost any
size, wooden cubic blocks or blocks of any size, Styrofoam
packing peanuts
Cups, pints, quarts, and gallon containers

Weight (measure of the

pull or force of gravity
on an object) and Mass
(amount of matter in
an object and a
measure of the force
needed to accelerate it)

Heaver and lighter

Hold two objects, one in each hand, extend both
arms and experience the relative downward pull
on each
Use balances or scales

Any collection of uniform objects with the same mass can

serve as weight units (ex: paper clips, wooden blocks, plastic
cubes, U.S. coins, metal washers

Angles (composed of
two rays that are
infinite in length with a
common vertex)

Two angles can be directly compared by tracing

one and placing it over the other
Be sure to have students compare angles with
the rays represented with different lengths

A unit for measuring an angle must be an angle

Angle rulers and protractors


Make comparisons of events that have different

durations (if two events begin at the same time,
the shorter duration will end first and the other
last longer and compare events that dont start
at the same time)
Have students time familiar events in their daily
Understanding the value of each coin and their

Reading analog and digital clock

Determining combinations and comparisons of time intervals
in minutes (like how many minutes until the next hour)
Sketch an empty timeline


Sort coins and start counting from the heist values

Use think addition to make change

Why Estimate
Helps students focus on the attribute being
measured and the measuring process
Provides intrinsic motivation to measurement
When standard units are used, estimation helps
develop familiarity with the unit
The use of a benchmark to make an estimate
promotes multiplicative reasoning

Teaching computational estimates

Use real examples of estimation
Use the language of estimation (about, close, just about, a little more or less than, and
Use context to help with estimates
Accept a range of estimates or offer a range as an option
Do not reward or emphasize that one students estimate that is the closest
Focus on flexible methods, not answers
Help students learn strategies by having them first try a specific approach
Discuss how different students made their estimates
Make measurement estimation an ongoing activity

Computational estimation strategies

Front-end methods- identify the first digit and then
make the ones to the right zeros and then make
Rounding methods- change the numbers to others
that are easier to compute mentally (compatible
numbers) and adjust if necessary
Develop and use benchmarks or referents for
important units
Use chunking when appropriate
Use subdivisions

Synthesis: The many types of measurements can be taught by using comparison activities and physical models. Estimation
helps students focus on the measuring process and the attribute being measured.

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