Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
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This collection of resources helps students develop skill and understanding with measuring. Content topics include length, area, perimeter, volume, weight, time, money, angle, and circle measures. Learning resources include lesson plans, activities, interactive media, investigations, and games. Additional resources are available in two professional development collections on measurement, one for K-2 and the other for 3-5.
Replies: 2
Created:01-24-2013 by Uncle Bob
Last Post04-09-2013by Uncle Bob
Replies: 4
Created:01-18-2013 by Mrs. V
Last Post03-03-2013by Uncle Bob
ResourceTitle/DescriptionGrade Level

This series of six short animated videos from "Sid, the Science Kid" shows young learners how to use non-standard units to measure the length of large objects. Non-standards units such as hand width or body length are compared with the formal units found on measuring tools.

This applet provides demonstration clocks, both analog and 24-hour digital displays, for teachers to use with classes learning to tell time. The clocks can be set to current time or advanced/turned back by intervals of 1, 5, 10, 15, 30 and 60 minutes.

This lesson emphasizes the connections between science and mathematics by using a performance, or authentic, assessment format. Students will develop measurement skills as they relate the size of their fists to the size of their hearts. Students have the opportunity to explore applications involving their own hearts. An activity sheet (pdf) is included.
K, 1, 2, 3

This activity helps students develop a sense of the relative size of quantities in time, length and mass. Learners rank their estimates of given measures in order from least to greatest and justify their decisions. The Teachers' Notes page includes suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, ideas for extension and support, printable cards (pdf), and a link to a related problem, "In Order" (cataloged separately). The solutions page shows that students used standard units of measure to make their comparisons.
Pre-K, K, 1, 2

In this six lesson unit, students recognize and explore the relationships among pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. They estimate and count sets of mixed coins, create equivalent sets, write story problems that involve money, and use coins to make patterns. Within the unit there is a link to US Mint.
Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

In this Flash game, students may use a variety of activities to practice counting, collecting, exchanging, and making change for coins. Coin representations may show their amounts or not; coins may also be represented by coin tiles on a 10x10 grid, to help visualize their values. The five activities are: count, in which students determine the value of a given set of coins; collect, in which students choose coins to represent a given value; exchange, in which students use the smallest number of coins to represent a given value; change from coins, in which students are given a set of coins and asked how much change would be for a dollar (essentially counting up); and change from value, in which students are given a price owed (from a dollar) and asked to make change. There is a "bank" at the lower left side of the applet in which coins may be exchanged for other coins of the same value.
Pre-K, K, 1, 2

In this lesson, students will play the roles of banker and consumers as they learn how to use different combinations of coins to make money amounts up to 25 cents. Students will earn money and save it in their piggy banks until they have the exact amount to purchase an item of their choice. Suggestions for questions and assessment options are included.
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6+

This interactivity presents estimation challenges in over two dozen math content areas, including counting, whole and decimal operations, measurements, and fraction/decimal equivalents. Rather than needing exact answers, students earn zero to 5 points based on the closeness of each of their estimates completed in a fixed time period. A link to a brief tutorial introduction is provided (cataloged separately).
2, 3, 4, 5

This Java applet provides opportunities for creative problem solving while encouraging young students to estimate length and angle measure. Using the Turtle Pond Applet, students enter a sequence of commands to help the turtle get to the pond. Children can write their own solutions using LOGO commands and input them into the computer. The turtle will then move and leave a trail or path according to the instructions given. (N.B. the applet is an upgrade of one that supported the Lesson "Get the Turtle to the Pond," cataloged separately.)

This interactive lesson encourages young students to solve problems by estimating angles and distances. They use an applet to give LOGO-like commands, e.g. forward (length), turn (right or left) to make a path that moves a turtle to a pond. Students can create a Path 1 and Path 2 and try to minimize the total path length. There is a newer applet (Turtle Pond, cataloged separately) that allows for adding or editing the commands and a choice of right angles only, or angles in multiples of 15 degrees. The lesson provides suggestions for implementation and discussion questions.

In this lesson students combine mathematical procedures and scientific observation to learn more about pumpkins. In the activity students in cooperative groups search, suggest, question, predict, measure and estimate the number of seeds in a set of pumpkins. Notes for the facilitator teacher are included.

This game for two or more players tests students' knowledge of the uses of various measuring tools. An interactive spinner picturing 8 tools that measure the attributes of length, weight, volume, angle and time determines the players' movement on a game board. Students must explain their reasoning about their choices of tool applications. A printable page is available.
3, 4, 5

This activity helps students develop a sense of the relative size of quantities in the categories of temperature, speed, time duration and loudness. Learners rank their estimates of given measures in order from least to greatest and justify their decisions. Students are encouraged to do research and carry out experiments when possible. The Teachers' Notes page includes suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, ideas for extension and support, and links to related activities.

This interactive applet gives students six problems to solve involving rectangular floor spaces and the connections between area and perimeter. Students allocate two-dimensional space based on the area and perimeter specifications of various party activities. (Note: all four corners of the rectangles are draggable).

This interactive Java applet gives learners an elementary sense of angles and lengths in the context of an 18-hole golf simulation. Students choose a trajectory angle from 0-360 degrees and a length for each shot. Instructions and a scorecard are provided.

This brief article for young learners describes how ancient cultures developed units of measurement like the cubit and foot, and how estimation and precision play a role in measuring today. A printable page is available.

This interactive Java applet provides learners the opportunity to explore concepts of volume, its conservation, and relative capacities of containers. The applet will simulate pouring liquid from one tank (prism, cylinder or cone) into another. Students are asked to predict how high the level will be in the second tank. Instructions and teaching information are included.

With this hands-on activity, students apply measurement and communication skills to describe the location of the ends of a tunnel they plan to construct. The goal is for a student to describe a location precisely enough so that a second student planning to construct from the other side of a piece of cardboard can determine the location of the tunnel end. The resource includes background information, teacher suggestions, and a Tunnel Challenge, which introduces the tools needed for tunneling in various natural environments.

This Figure This! activity provides students an opportunity to apply their knowledge of angles and compass directions to solve a problem in the context of airport runways. The introduction calls students' attention to the numbers assigned to both ends of runways. Students are asked to find a missing runway number. The activity includes links to a solution hint, the solution, related math questions, and additional resources.
4, 5, 6+

This applet provides students with tools to investigate the relationships among the measures of a circle. Students can resize a circle and record measurements to discover the circumference to diameter ratio, for example. A video clip, assignments, and a set of application problems is provided. For upper level students, lessons are provided for formally measuring and calculating circumference and area with pi.

This interactive Java applet supports the investigation of the relationship between the number of vertices of a polygon and its interior angle sum. Learners choose and locate the vertices, the angle measures are displayed, and then the student can drag the measures into a circle to see them summed relative to 360 degrees.