Friday, April 19, 2013

We're Measuring Cats and Dogs!

Me: "We are going to have some fun today in math!"

Highly adorable student: "We always have fun in math!"

Who could NOT love a job that begins like that?

Needless to say, we did have fun!  I love when the "measuring length" unit rolls around in my classroom.  It's always a great opportunity for cooperative learning.  In this day and age of individualized tests, independent work and video games, sometimes I feel that kids need more opportunities to work and collaborate together to problem solve.

They had the opportunity to do just that.  With a little clipart help from the AMAZING Ashley Hughes AKA the SCHOOL SUPPLY ADDICT. Caution...clicking below will get you caught in a web of great ideas and unbelievable cuteness!


If you haven't seen her work, it looks a little like this:

      and this...

without those red measuring lines, of course!  I added those.  I was looking for some cuteness that my kids would love to measure, and these dogs and cats were it!  With the clip art, I was able to create this:

...and the kids found themselves in a cooperative measuring frenzy! I'd like to tell you a little about the procedure. You should know that this activity was done after the children had been practicing measuring in inches and centimeters.

1.  I gathered my mathematicians on the carpet into what we call our "sharing square" (around the perimeter).

2. The kids were placed into groups of 3 or 4.  

3.  Laminated clip art and rulers were handed out to each group.

4.  Measuring tasks sheets were reviewed.  WE DID NOT DO THE PROBLEM SOLVING AT THIS POINT- I CHOSE TO SAVE THAT UNTIL THE END OF THE COOPERATIVE MEASURING TASKS.  Take a peek at the sheets below:

5.  The small groups worked together to measure Ashley's clipart in inches and in centimeters.  They recorded their answers in the packet.

6.  After time was up, each group passed their clipart to the group next to them so that every group had new clipart to measure.  The procedure was repeated.

7.  After all of the measurements were recorded, we compared answers. (They did a great job!!)

8. If there were any discrepancies in the measurements among the groups, I modeled the measuring for them as a way of re-measuring the clipart.

9.  The next day, we reviewed problem solving language (key words) before solving the problems at the bottom of the problem solving sheets. 

10.  We began whole group, so I could model and review bar models and addition/subtraction strategies.  Then I gave the kids time to work with their group to solve some problems.  Finally, I set aside some of the problems for them to solve independently.

It was an engaging activity that covered a variety of measurement standards! You can have a little fun with this, too! Grab yours at a store below!


  1. Great idea to use different clipart images. Cute graphics make everything more fun in my opinion! I also like how you compared students answers and then discussed any discrepancies. Such a great atmosphere for sharing ideas.

    Eclectic Educating

  2. This looks great Tracey! I like the fact that centimeters are included as well. That will make it work in my classroom. I look forward to giving it a try.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom


Notes For the Teacher