Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Learning Series: Measuring with Blocks

Every child loves summer. Summer is a time for playing outside, swimming in the pool, and hanging out with your friends. Unfortunately, summer is also a time when kids lose a lot of what they learned during the previous year of school. As an elementary school teacher, it was frustrating to watch my students struggle at the beginning of each year with objectives that they had mastered the previous year. As a parent, I want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to my children. This summer, I will be setting aside a little time each day for some fun learning activities for my kids. Starting in June, check in each Tuesday if you are looking for some activities for your kids. I will be posting a few things we did the previous week to share. Also if you are interested in doing the same thing, I would love to link up with all you creative moms out there! Just shoot me an email and let me know you are interested. (betweenthelines-kam@hotmail.com ) Let’s work together to help our children have a fun, but educational summer!

Lately, my girls have been really intrigued with “how big things are”. So last week, I introduced them to the ruler. I taught them how to measure various objects in inches. After teaching them the basics, they wanted to measure everything! Since they are only 4 and 6, I stuck with whole numbers. However, if your child is older and more experienced with rulers, you can easily change the activity to include half and quarter inches.

While the girls were building towers with their blocks, I made note cards with various levels of measuring instructions. Some of the note cards were really easy. For example, make a tower that is bigger than 4 inches. Even my 4 year old could follow the easy cards. The medium cards were still easy to follow, but more difficult to achieve. For these instructions, the girls had to measure to an exact inch. Both girls understood how to find the exact measurement on the ruler, but it took some time and patience to find the right combination of blocks that would work.

The hardest level of cards were a little difficult for my 4 year old, but a fun challenge for my 6 (she had more fun trying to get her sister to guess the right amount). The hard cards challenged the girls to find a measurement that was in between two lengths. For example, build a tower that is taller than 6 inches and smaller than 8 inches.

After they got used to using the ruler, we made a game out of it. Each girl would pick a card and race to build their tower to the correct measurement. The first person to win three rounds, was the winner. They had a lot of fun and are still walking around measuring everything!


Kristen Andrews said...

this looks fun I will have to do this w/ Will!

Anonymous said...

Hey! I am a new follower from Follow Me Back Tuesday. Great blog. I will be back.

blueviolet said...

You have the best ideas!!!! I like this a lot. I remember when we measured things in school all around the hallways and outside and stuff. I loved it, so I can see why the girls do too.

Kel said...

Thanks ladies! :)

Kristen - Hope Will enjoys it!