Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How big is your pumpkin?

Today, we did a little experiment with the children. The children have been sorting and classifying lots of different types of items over the past few weeks: nuts, leaves, veggies etc... And without even realising it, they have learned a lot!! An extension of these mathematical concepts was to introduce them to measurement. And the best way to do so is to use everyday real objects to teach them. So this morning, I asked them if they could gather around the table to help me figure out which pumpkin was the biggest or the smallest. We used coloured wooden counters as a measuring unit (you can use anything really, blocks, pencils, woden beads etc.., as long as the items used to measure with are all the same size,).

I used the counters by towering them up as tall as each pumpkin.

 Then we counted them.

Then I said: "this pumpkin is 3 counters long" and I repeated this process for each pumpkin. 

We then placed the pumkin from the tallest to the smallest and laid the counters down for the children to better grasp the notion of bigger/smaller in terms of measuring units.

I didn't know if the children would actually find this activity interested. Obviously, the smallest ones lost interest very quickly but my big preschoolers (3.5 to 5) were very intrigued and even made predictions as we went along. So, yes, I think it worked. And I will have to repeat the exercise again.

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