Measurement Olympics

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As part of mathematics, Room 14 revisited learning about measuring distances through sports related activities. Students used these activities to make predictions about how they would perform, before doing activities to check their predictions.

They started off by using non-standard units of measurement to measure a standing jump. They used exercise books as their unit of measurement as they jumped alongside them.

Questions that arose from this activity were ‘What happens if we land in the middle of a book?’

Avery said it would be 3 and a half. This led to discussions of rounding up or down to the nearest number to record measurements which became our learning intention for many of the activities. When asked how far they jumped, this is what some children had to say:

I just made it to 4 books. Molly

I thought I jumped 6 books, but when I checked again it was closer to 5. Jaxon

Afterwards the class had discussions about technique and what we might do to be able to jump further. Students identified getting low and swinging your arms as things that helped them. We also talked about different standard units of measurement and which unit of measurement might be best to use for the activity we had just done.

Next we predicted how far we could throw a tennis ball. 

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Students identified metres as the most appropriate unit of measurement but that centimetres would work too. We measured to the nearest metre. When asked how long their throw was, this is what some students said:

It’s closer to 17 than 16. Rikihana

My throw was the best. Mine was closer to 25 metres. Jacob

Next, each student cut a piece of paper into a rectangular spiral to see who could make theirs the longest.

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Students identified centimetres as the most appropriate unit of measurement for this activity. When asked how long their spiral was, this is what some children had to say:

Mine is almost 100 centimetres long. Zoey

Mine is closer to 146 than 147. Avery

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Students will need to continue to practise measuring and rounding numbers up or down to the nearest unit of measurement. A performance next step is to work on improving techniques for throwing and jumping so everyone can improve on their results next time.

Keywords: Measurement Olympics, predictions, rounding up and down, metres, centimetres

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