Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Measurement Exercise

My sixth grade students have been working on their ruler skills since September. This week's lesson included converting customary measures (inches to feet, yards, miles and back; fluid ounces to cups, pints, quarts, gallons and back; ounces to pounds and tons).

Yesterday, I went around the room and measured twelve items to the nearest sixteenth of an inch.

Today I gave them about fifteen minutes to work alone or in groups to try to identify the items.

It was a hard task, but it had them talking about those little marks on the ruler and how they could determine if it was an eighth or a quarter inch.

I believe almost everyone can finally use a ruler. This is a huge improvement over my experience at a local Home Depot. I asked for a window shade to be cut to 36 3/8 of an inch. I finally had to show the employee where it was on the ruler. *sigh*

Image Citation:
"Ruler." Auntie P's photostream. 2005 Feb 5. 2008 Apr 23.


  1. Glad to hear the students can use rulers. I've seen some college students unable to do metric conversions.

  2. Sigh, I miss feet/inches, quarts/pints and cups! From one Canadian who just hasn't 'gone metric' after 30 odd years!

  3. Charlie:
    I can't promise that the ability to use the measurements will "stick", but it's promising to see their growth in this area.

    We went to Ireland a few years ago and they're still getting used to metric. I thought the US was the only country with a population still struggling with the variety of measures.