Friday, April 4, 2014

Measuring Penny Update!


Measuring Penny is an amazing math picture book.  I wrote a lesson plan last summer and have been anxiously awaiting our second grade measuring unit to teach it.  Just imagine my frustration at having to wait so long.   Spring has arrived and the review is in…

After teaching this unit, I am happy to share that it is one of my favorites for the year.
Second Grade Common Core Measurement Standards focus on measuring, remeasuring, comparing, using different units, choosing appropriate tools, and problem solving.  With that said, I think this unit did a nice job moving through the skill set and tying everything together in the final project. 

As I approached this unit plan, I decided that a tool for reflection needed to be added.  I wanted this element to be something students could reference and share with their parents. Using three prong folders and loose leaf paper, students created measurement journals.  They recorded observations, created Thinking Maps, answered questions, etc. in these journals.

I found that as the unit was presented about 40% of my students did not have enough background knowledge in estimating and using non standard units. In response to this, I spent a bit more time on the initial dog biscuit activity then originally planned.  I displayed a very large dog bone and the small treat bone that students would be using for the actual measurements.  I used advancing and assessing questions to facilitate the manipulation of the idea that the size of measurement unit affects the number of the measurement and what a reasonable estimate would be?

How do the units change?
What happens when the unit of measurement gets larger? smaller?  Why?
What happens to the number when the unit changes?  
Explain to a shoulder partner your opinion about, why the numbers change? Do you agree with your partner?
What should a reasonable estimate look like? How do you know this?

The goal here was to illicit viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others (MP4).  Once we activated that prior knowledge and put a little experience under our belts, we were ready for the fun to start!  Students had a blast. With materials in hand, students explored measurement with purposeful movement and productive math talk.

Final Performance Task


The unit closed with a final Performance Based Task.  Students brought stuffed animals from home, chose tools, measured, compared, and took ownership of the standards.

I Can Statements

Class Display


Individual Examples










Common Core Mathematics Standards

2.MD.A.1  Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
2.MD.A.2  Measure the length of an object twice using length units of different lengths for the two measurements: describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.
2.MD.A.4  Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, express the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.
2.MD.B.5 Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve word problems involving lengths that are given in the same units, e.g. by using drawings (such as drawings of rulers) and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

This lesson plan is available for free download at my Tennessee Trending Teacher Wiki Space.  Please look on my Second Grade Common Core Lesson page.