Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring has Sprung -- Make it Meaningful and Measureful

If Spring has sprung in your neck of the woods, turn the glorious outside weather into an authentic learning universe! One ever-so-helpful activity that you can encourage your kids to do is measuring different plants and flower growth.  Measurement is notoriously tough for kids of all ages, so the more practice they can get, the better off they'll be.
It's sometimes tough to measure flora with a regular ruler, so let your kids pick a favorite ribbon or piece of string as their nonstandard measuring tool.  [This is also handy because they can measure the circumference of trees (the length around the tree) using the ribbon or string.]

Let your child pick what he wants to measure.  Is it the new dandelion emerging from the ground or a blade of grassing poking up through the crack in the sidewalk, or is it a bunch of different plants around the yard? Again, let your child choose!  Once your kiddo has picked what he wants to measure help him hold the string along the plant (or around the plant) and keep fingers on the two ends.  Lay the string or ribbon down next to a standard ruler, again keeping tabs on the two endpoints and help your child read the length of your specimen.  Depending on the age of your child, you may need to round to the nearest inch, 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, etc.  This is also a great time to talk about the metric side of the ruler and how the lengths are the same, but the systems are just different.
Don't forget to record your child's findings (or let him do it!) and revisit the plant once a week/month to chart its growth!
Happy Measuring!! ;)

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