Part Three: Measuring to the Nearest 1/4 Inch
Okay, so now my kids understand that 1/2 and 2/4 are equivalent and that each space on a number line represents the distance between the numbers (or fractional parts).
We pulled out our unit fraction papers and I asked students if they knew another way to rename 2/4. They all nodded and wrote 1/2 under 2/4 (as best they could).
Now it was time to bring out the big guns. I reminded the students of the story Jack and the Beanstalk. I told them the giant had come down the beanstalk with his giant ruler to measure different things. When he climbed back up, part of the ruler broke off and now I have it and I would show them how to make their OWN giant rulers. They loved it, and were now invested. Hook, line, and sinker.
(Sorry- I can’t get it rotated for some reason!!?)
I cut white copier paper in half length wise (hot dog style) and gave each style a piece. I labeled the far left side 0 and the far right side 1. Then I folded the paper in half. We discuss that the paper was now divided into 2 parts and that the folded line represented 1/2 and that the distance from 0 to 1/2 was 1/2. Then we discussed how the distance from 1/2 to 1 was still 1/2 as well. Then we folded the paper again and now the paper was divided into 4 parts and the first box was 1/4, the second box was 2/4 or 1/2 as well had learned the day before, and the third box was 3/4 and the last box was a whole.
Then I showed students how to use their giant ruler (line up to the 0 and see what is the closest 1/4 mark). Students then went around measuring things smaller than their ruler.
They wanted to measure bigger things like desks and the board so they came up with the idea of taping their rulers together and I did a quick mini lesson on renaming the whole to 1 whole, 2 wholes, etc.
And BAM! It all made sense! They were ready to measure. Scarily easy!
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Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion setting. She is the owner and creator of the Teaching Tips website (www.mandygregory.com) and has over 10 years of experience. She is married with two beautiful children.