In Math, the children have been practicing linear measurement. Since we have been researching what our animals look like, we decided to use some of the information we collected to practice figuring out which tools to use and how to use them. The students were asked, “What tool do you think you should use to measure your animal?”

A ruler Mari

A ruler or meter stick Shunye

A trundle wheel Chanu

Other students said they would need a meter stick or a measuring tape.

On the playground, the children were asked to draw a line in chalk to represent the length of their animal. Next to the line, they wrote the measurement as well as the animal’s name. Ken took a picture of each student next to their measurement.

In Chanu’s case we needed students to help show how long his animal is, using their bodies. After all, the blue whale is the largest animal on Earth! Can you see how many Grade Two students it takes to measure a blue whale? Ken had to take two pictures to fit the whole animal in the frame! You might have to zoom in to count the little bodies laying on the playground!

During our measuring experience, some students had problems trying to figure out how to measure really long things with the tools they had. Kai’s measuring tape was only 150 centimeters long, but his animal, the Laysan albatross’s wingspan is about 3 meters. What could he do? With a little prompting, he was able to figure out that he could measure one meter at a time to make 3 meters. Chanu had an enormous predicament. He tried to measure the length of the blue whale and ran out of room. With some prompting, he started measuring where the yellow play area meets the rest of the playground. Unfortunately, he still ran out of room. He solve the problem by making a turn. After a quick chat, he realized that he it was okay to go outside the white lines, so he just extended his line toward the stairs. Other students had their measurements in feet, which they realized they couldn’t measure with metric tools. With a bit of help to convert to the metric system, they were able to measure easily.

Click on the photo below to see a slideshow in flicker.

2C also practiced measuring some potato plants over a two to three week period. They measured five plants and then six after one finally sprouted.

As scientists, they collected quite a bit of data in their charts. Several students realized that their charts were quite messy and hard to read. Since they have learned that scientists need to collect and record their data carefully, several students made their chart again. In the end, they all had at least five days worth of potato plant measurements.

Our next step was to learn about what type of graph is used for showing change over a period of time. We talked about different types of graphs, such as the pictograph and bar graphs. Next, we watched a video on Brainpopjr to learn about line graphs. We looked at our data about the toads to find our highest and lowest number of toads per day. This helped us to decide what type of scale we would use. Then we used the data we collected on our toads to create a line graph as a class.

Finally, each student used the data from one of the plants to create their own line graph, including title, subtitles, labeling, and scale. Here are a few examples.