Thursday, April 23, 2009

Meaningful Measurements: Connecting Math and Science Standards with Favorite Literary Characters

Due to a lack of open parking garages in Indianapolis on a Saturday morning I missed the first few minutes of this session presented by Dr. Susie Beesley and Mrs. Abby Jadrich of Marian College. In those few minutes, I missed a lot! The rest of the session was so much fun I wish I had to learn about measurement all over again so I could learn it with these two women.

They started off by teaching measurement concepts while using Jack and the Beanstalk for material ideas. Some of the activities were to measure a standard object (our conference program) using beans, measuring that same thing with something that's always the same size, using each person's foot as a measuring device, measuring with one standard unit, and making rulers based on the standard unit.

For the second part of the class we did a measuring Olympics, where each person had to perform a certain task (shotputting a cotton ball, for instance), estimate the distance, and then measure it. The activities were fun, and we were fed chocolate at the end even if we didn't win an event (note to other presenters: bring chocolate and distribute it randomly throughout your presentation and we will all pay better attention).

The handouts included a long list of children's literature that could be used for measurement and science tie-ins. I found this to be an incredibly useful session. While my young 2s and 3s couldn't do most of the activities I certainly can think of some things to do with them that might introduce the concept of measurement that other teachers can build upon later when they're ready to learn more.

As far as I know our presenters did not give us contact information. Rather than searching it out and posting it when they may not want that, if you want to contact them I suggest you go to the Marian College website and search for them.

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