We are continuing our Time and Measurement block with linear and liquid measure. We started off with a story from Live Ed about measuring feet. Then we measured everyone’s feet in our family (including the dog!), and glued them to the book. We also worked out the average size foot in our house:
We then learned about the different measurements that were done with the body. We went around the house and yard, measuring, measuring, and measuring:
We went out in the field behind our house and measured the ark, using his arm as a cubit, and cutting a length of string 10 cubits long. The ark was enormous!
Then we worked on smaller measurements. We played a guessing game… how long do you think that table is? Let’s all guess! Then we would measure and see which guess was the nearest. We worked out equivalences with the yardstick and drew a ruler for the Main Lesson Book:
The pictures below are the maps my daughter and I made in 3rd grade a couple of years ago. I decided not to do it again with my son since we only have so much time, but it was a fun experience. Since we make this trip on our bikes now and then, the children both have a sense of a mile. The pictures were made with pencils shavings, and I wish the photos were better quality. Trust me, these pencil shaving pictures are much so lovely in person!
We took to the kitchen for liquid measure. We got out a big pot of water and a lot of containers. My third grader poured and poured and wrote down his findings in a little notebook:
We have friends with goats, so we pretended that we could adopt 3 of the babies and name them. Then we figured out how to divide up the milk:
We ended our lessons this week with a painting of a goat! I painted one the night before, but I ran out of paper and we had to use some watercolor paper that is terrible for the wet-on-wet method. It is so important to have the right supplies. This paper fell apart as we painted, and it was very frustrating for my son. However, he added lovely prickly pear cactus, and that seemed to cheer him up for some reason! I will have to pick up some new paper this week.
We also took some time during this block to work on addition of bigger numbers. He struggled with carrying, so we took a break for a while. At the beginning of this block, I showed him the first method of adding the tens and ones separately. We worked with that for a couple of weeks, and then I showed him how to carry in the attic. Voila! He seems to finally get it! I got this idea from Jamie York’s book Making Math Meaningful:
Making Math Meaningful is a great resource for teaching the progression of math skills. This is not a book that will lay out particular lessons or stories, but it will show how a child can build his skills in a meaningful way. I love the way they show the progression of learning fractions. Simply multiplying the numerator and the denominator is a trick. Jamie York explains how to show the child the reasoning, before teaching the ‘trick’. The addition work that we did above is a great example of this. I am just so thrilled that it worked!