Measuring Up!

I don't know about you, but I don't LOVE teaching measuring to my kiddos. I am not sure if it is me or the way our math series introduces the topic, (or maybe both) but I always dread the unit. So over winter break, I did some re-evaluating. How am I going to make this year different? I really enjoy teaching math. I enjoy hands-on units and lessons. Measuring fits those categories-so I should love it, right? Yeah, not so much (do you hear the sarcasm?). I figured the only way for me to make it work in my classroom is for me to create activities that work for my students. They are all Common Core Aligned and don't require a million objects to gather so they can learn to measure.
My goal for this unit is to make measuring meaningful to my kids.  I have spent the last week teaching about standard and non-standard measurement. We have used paper clips, cubes, pasta, pennies and more to measure things. We have used rulers to explore centimeters and inches. I was really surprised how quickly they caught on. They became measuring machines this week.

To culminate the unit, we "built" sandcastles! Yes, in the middle of winter we are making sandcastles. Hey, we live in Southern California! I decided to have the students work individually on this activity, but you can place them in pairs, as well.
This is the sample I briefly showed them. I didn't want to give them too many directions because I wanted them to be creative and not just copy my sample. Each student started off with this:

They cut the pieces out and started getting creative.

After they built their sandcastles, they measured the height and width in centimeters and inches and recorded their results.

Then we created this bulletin board:
I love how they all turned out differently. Each student's creative side came out in their creations. This activity, along with the measuring centers I used, can be found in my packet Measuring Up. I hope you find the activities helpful in your classroom as well. 
I have to say, I am not dreading measuring any more. Bring on the rulers!!!


  1. Such a CUTE idea! LOVE it! I am pinning this to use when we do measurement in a few weeks!

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

    1. Thanks Christina! The kids LOVED making the sandcastles. I hope yours do too!

  2. You crack me up! I LOVE teaching measurement and I'm always looking for new and interesting ideas. I love the activities you have in this pack and it is sitting in my wishlist as we speak. Thanks for sharing your kiddos' adorable creations!!

    Primarily Speaking

    1. Thanks Amy! I hope your kiddos will enjoy them too! Anything to make measuring fun!

  3. Measuring is certainly one of my favorites. If I could teach math all day....oh! what a dream.
    My Second Sense