Sunday, May 15, 2011

Math and Reasoning - Gummy Worm Measurents

I have been loving to laugh at Erin when I she tells me she is going to measure me and she says I am "5 years old". It is really cute but now that she is almost 4 I am thinking it is time to start teaching her how measuring really works. For me, math was one of my least loved subjects because it was just too practical and left little room for my imagination. So I have been thinking about how I could introduce the subject and make it something she would enjoy. I would love to tell you that I thought of this lesson completely on my own but it was actually watching something Erin was doing that gave me the idea! Erin LOVES gummy worms (she doesn't care for chocolate. People always ask me how I get my kid to eat all her broccoli and I'm telling you, its not me! She was born that way!) and the other day she had a few in her hands and she was lining them up on the table. My ah-ha moment arrived! We could start by measuring in gummy worms! So here are some activities you can share to make math fun! (plus they get a yummy treat to eat at the end of the lesson!)

What you will need:
  • 1 bag of gummy worms (per child)
  • masking tape
  • colored markers
  • paper
  • ruler or measuring tape
  • things to measure! 
Measuring with Gummy Worms (10 gummies across)

Remeasuring with tape measure - 35 inches!

Start out by handing them the bag and asking them to guess how many worms are inside. Then ask them to draw little worms on the paper to show what colors they think the worms will be. Once they have done this have them open the bag and count how many are actually present.  This is a fun exercise that will promote self confidence when estimating and predicting which are important elements in logical thinking and scientific inquiry! Next have them measure things in the room that are equal to one gummy length, then two, and so on. We measured all the way around our coffee table! (40 worms in case you were curious!) The next part was Erin's favorite because she is forever wanting me to measure how tall she is to see if she is 4 yet (if only you always got taller with age. She will be sad to find out with her mama's genes the vertical climb stops about 10) Measure your child up against the wall and then cut a piece of masking tape to the same length. Lay the tape down on the table (sticky side up) and have them line the gummies down the tape. Then hold it up next to them to see how many gummy worms tall they are! When you are done having fun measuring things ask your child if they could think of something that could make measuring easier. No doubt they have had some difficulty measuring with gummy worms (they are not all the same size and will stretch if you pull them allowing for different measurements of the same things when using different worms). Now is when you can introduce your ruler or measuring tape and show them how much easier this set standard for measuring can be. Then go back and remeasure some of the previous items with your new tool to reinforce the lesson.

Still not 4. :)

Buy Inchimals Here!

Erin has been having so much fun since doing this lesson that I went online and found these really cute measuring sticks. They are colorful and have animals on them so it makes it more fun for the kiddos. I haven't gotten them yet but I am super excited to show her her new measuring tools!

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