Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Measuring Station

The children ask: How many unifix cubes equals 12 inches?

A few weeks ago, we rearranged our focus areas at the preschool house. Prior to the rearranging, writing and math had lived together on a wonderful oval table. We noticed that having a number of very full baskets all together in one area encouraged a lot of dumping, so we separated the two areas. The math table became a measuring station since many of the kids are very interested in how tall they are or how much space something takes up. I added some new rulers I found while hunting for supplies around town and redistributed the unifix cubes into a basket that's too large for them so that it would appear there was less of them (and hopefully discourage the dumping).

MR shows M.R. and LC the numbers on the ruler.

It's always interesting how changing an area gives it a surge of renewed interest. An area that rarely engaged children since my move to the preschool house in early July is suddenly a hubbub of activity. The unifix cubes and rulers are regularly used to measure any number of things from someone's foot, a chair leg, a finger, the rug, a cubby, and of course each other. How many unifix cubes does it take to make 12 inches? How many inches do all the unifix cubes together equal? The children test out these questions every day as they work directly with applied mathematics.

MR builds the unifix cubes into a tall, tall tower.

In response to the renewed interest, I found some folding rulers to add to our growing measuring station. They have been used in a variety of ways, though the most fun is still folding and unfolding since they are still fairly new. I'm not sure what else the children will lead me to search for and bring in next, but if you have any suggestions please send them my way!

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