Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Customary Top Secret Measurement Tool

When you are working with customary measurement do your children choose to measure all the things in the room that you haven't previously measured? Do they argue about their measurements being accurate because they know how to read the fractions on a ruler, so you have to be wrong? Do you have to measure the same things over and over to show each child, because the ruler keeps slipping?

I am sure that I am probably the only teacher whose students struggle with measuring accurately. (LOL)

I have a secret weapon to cut down on the time necessary for remeasuring. You can get my secret weapon at your nearest Dollar Tree store. Do you know what I am talking about?

Well......It is a tape measure. The type that construction workers use. You pull out the tape, it has the end lip on it to help hold it in place. It is found in the hardware aisle.

But the tape measures at Dollar Tree are special and hard to find anywhere else. The normal tick marks are between the numbers, but they also have the fractions marked. I don't mean with just the tick marks, I mean with the actual fractions! The measurement is shown above the tick mark. Here are the measurements shown between the one inch and two inch marks.

1, 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3,4, 7/8, 2

Not only does it help with reading the ruler, it also helps them see how reduced fractions play a part in the "real" world. I had one young man a couple of years back that finally figured out how to order fractions while we were practicing measuring. Up to then it didn't make sense to him.

Two more great things about these measures are when the teacher down the hall needs to measure something they can read this measure themselves and they are only $1.00!

I love bargains!


Jennifer Gibson

Love it! A problem that I often have. I will have to head to Dollar Tree today!


Thanks for the awesome idea!


Great tip. Now there is yet another thing added to my to do list :-)

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