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

Clip 6/17: Measurement Lesson Part B2


After noting that some of the students lined up the ends of the foot shapes to compare the shapes, Tracy Sola asks the first graders to explain their thinking. One student responds, “So, they'd all be the same height on the bottom. … So, they can all be the same height so we know which length.”

The students share ideas about ordering the foot shapes by length, with one saying, “You should put it here because yours is the biggest.”

Teacher Commentary

When it came time to take their footstep cutouts and order them according to height or length, three students put their footsteps down on the rug, and one student immediately reached over and lined them up on the bottom — as if there were an invisible line in the heels, and they were all down, right flush against that line. 

The students were doing that naturally, but it was hard for them to articulate why they were doing it. 

I then took ... I didn't want to just say it, so, I took my footstep and I took a student's footstep, and I kind of put them, not even close to each other. Right away, the student, Santiago, pulled his down so, once again, the heels were aligned. It was interesting to see that that was a natural tendency. But the kids weren't really sure why they were doing it; they just did it naturally.

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