Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Annotated Bib - Standard and Non-Standard Measurement

Throughout history, man has used ingenuity to make measurements.  Even with the creation of standard units, non-standard units of measurement are still effective so long as they are used to measure all objects in a given set for comparison.

Books
Cook-a-Doodle Doo!.  Auth. by Janet Stevens & Susan Stevens Crummel. 48 pages. Sandpiper. 2005. (978-0152056582). Gr. K-2.
A boisterous romp as four animal friends set out to bake a strawberry shortcake. Rooster, tired of pecking for chicken feed, remembers that his famous great-grandmother (the Little Red Hen) wrote a cookbook, and in it he finds the recipe. Turtle, Iguana and Pig volunteer to help. If left solely to the text, the rest of the comedy-cum-cookery lesson would be fairly predictable: Turtle, reading the recipe, announces they need flour and Iguana rushes outside to pick a petunia; asked to beat an egg, Iguana hoists a baseball bat. (Handsomely illustrated sidebars explain most of the directions in depth.) Rooster sets Iguana straight while Pig keeps wanting to taste everything in sight.

How Big is a Foot?. Auth. by Rolf Myller. 48 pages. Yearling. 2001. (978-0440404958). Gr. K-2.
This story is an excellent source to use with children who are beginning to learn about measurement. It enables them to see that there is a need for a standard unit of measure in the world. It is an amusing tale that will start children thinking without them knowing it!

How Tall, How Short, How Far Away?. By David Adler. Illus. by Nancy Tobin. 28 pages. Holiday House. 2000. (978-0823416325). Gr. K-2.
This graphically dynamic volume introduces the concept of measurement. Adler explains how systems of measuring developed in ancient Egypt and Rome; how measurements became standardized; the origin of the metric system; and methods of measuring length, height, and distance. Bold color and creative design (especially the backgrounds of subtly designed rulers) give the pages visual zip. At the same time, the text's simplicity makes the ideas clear and easy to follow. A good basic book for children who are learning measurement using either the customary or metric system or (more likely) both.

Measuring Penny. Auth. by Loreen Leedy. 32 pages. Henry Holt and Company. 2000. (978-0805065725). Gr. K-4.
Lisa has a homework assignment to measure something in as many ways as she can, using standard and nonstandard units. "Use your imagination!" is the last instruction the teacher gives the students. Lisa chooses her Boston terrier and the fun begins. She measures Penny and a variety of other dogs. In the process, readers learn that Penny's nose is one inch long. Her tail is one biscuit long. She is bigger than a pug, smaller than a cocker spaniel, and weighs about the same as a Shetland Sheepdog. Lisa measures how much her pet eats, how high she jumps, how much time it takes to care for her, how much money is invested in her, how fast Penny runs, and a variety of other doggie traits.

Millions to Measure. Auth. by David Schwartz. Illus. by Steven Kellogg. 40 pages. HarperCollins. 2006. (978-0060848064). Gr. 1-5.
The book traces the development of standard units of measure for distance, weight, and volume, then describes the development of the metric system in the late 1700s. A three-page appendix offers more in-depth information about the metric system. Kellogg's trademark whimsical illustrations clarify the concepts presented. As in the previous books, Schwartz presents them in a logical, step-by-step progression, with plenty of examples to provide practical context. The text is clear and brief enough for classroom presentation.

Websites
Dinosaur Train - Non-Standard Measuring
How many great white sharks long is a Brachiosaurus?

How Tall?
With the help of Curious George, students can test their skills with non-standard measurements.

Puppy Clifford - Measuring
Students use visual estimations to identify the largest or smallest object in a set of objects.

Sal's Sub Shop
Fast paced race against time to satisfy your very "particular" customers.  Standard measurements for accuracy.  Get it right and make a profit, mistakes could cost you customers.  Good Luck!

Weigh it Up
This interactive game gives students the challenge of trying to balance objects on a scale (each shape with a different weight)

For the Teacher
Virginia SOL
1.9 The student will use nonstandard units to measure length, weight/mass, and volume.

Background Information From the Curriculum Framework

  • The process of measurement involves selecting a unit of measure, comparing the unit to the object to be measured, counting the number of times the unit is used to measure the object, and arriving at an approximate total number of units.
  • Premature use of instruments or formulas leaves children without the understanding necessary for solving measurement problems.
  • When children’s initial explorations of length, weight/mass, and volume involve the use of nonstandard units, they develop some understanding about the need for standard measurement units for length, weight/mass, and volume especially when they communicate about these measures.

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