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1st Grade Math - Developing Student Understanding of Non-Standard and Standard Measurement

Clip 5/17: Measurement Lesson Part B1


In the next phase of her first-grade lesson on non-standard measurement, Tracy Sola asks the students to very carefully trace one of their own feet, and then cut out the shape of their foot and label it with their name.

When the students place the cutouts next to each other, the students spontaneously observe the differences between the cutouts: “Oh, big, medium, small!” Sola engages the group in a conversation about “How can we tell which one's bigger and which one's smaller?”

The students turn-and-talk to a partner, some of them rearranging and reordering the foot shapes as they talk about comparing the sizes (using Common Core Standard for Mathematical Practice (SMP) 1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them).

Teacher Commentary

I was interested to see how they did that because, to get a true comparison, we would see them lining up all the heels at the bottom of something so that they can see how high the toes go. It wasn’t clear to me whether the students would think to do that or not.
I do a turn-and-talk for a few different reasons. I do a turn-and-talk if students have lost a little bit of focus, because I can tell that they're drifting off a little bit; or maybe one student was explaining something, or we were thinking about something and their attention is wandering a little bit. 

I'll do a turn-and-talk to bring them back. I do a turn-and-talk if somebody said something that was controversial — or maybe students have two different opinions and we’re not sure which is right, and we're trying to figure that out, or if they're both right. “What’s going on here?” I'll do a turn-and-talk so they can think about that.