The Grade Two students are innovators. They love to create, build, design and develop structures, machines, and anything that requires the hands- on manipulations of materials. Reviewing non-standard units of measurement led us to the estimation and measuring of our bodies. Our students were engaged, focused and joyous as they were learning through an authentic lens.
Truly understanding and developing our prior and newly acquired knowledge of the Metric system needed to be authentic as well. Taking their passion for engineering and their enjoyment with hands-on experiences, our students were able to estimate metres using parts of their bodies.
We need a lot of space, can we use the Piazza.” D.K.
The Piazza came alive! The Grade Two students measured the distance between the tips of their fingers (arm span) as well as their giant steps using a piece of string and comparing it to a metre stick. They continued to measure and record how tall they are using metres and centimetres as their unit of measurement. With the recorded data, our students ordered their heights from shortest to tallest. Many problem solving opportunities stemmed from this process.
The Ontario Curriculum expects students to be able to:
- Estimate, measure, and record length, perimeter, area, mass, capacity, time, and temperature, using non-standard units and standard units.
- Compare, describe, and order objects, using attributes measured in non-standard units and standard units.
“Students are well aware that problems in the real world don’t fit neatly into 200-word problems or test questions. Likewise, real-world problems are not easy to see or answer. Authentic learning projects, designed to create ill-defined problems, mimic the types of problems that students will confront after graduation. They put the emphasis on the mode of discovery, not the answer, helping students develop the critical thinking skills necessary to reach a conclusion. Students learn how to look for information or seek out collaborations.” -Educause Learning Initiative