Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers

Length and Age measures - a connection?

This discussion is part of a collection:Introducing Measurement Concepts K-2

Primary students might appreciate the importance of the zero mark in measuring length, if they were shown a connection with how they report their age, e.g., not being 7 years old until 7 full years have passed. They might make a timeline of their personal history and its events.

What are your favorite methods for teaching the significance of the zero mark in measuring?

Replies

The key to teaching anything is to make it relevant. When teaching zero as a starting point of measuring students need a context, so if you have a few students measure some objects and all start at a different point they should see why it is important to have a point of origin that is consistent. A class discussion about how this may effect them as consumers or in contests may be beneficial as well. In this catalog there is a resource from Cyberchase that addresses this issue: http://www.mathlanding.org/content/importance-origin , check it out!