In grade 2 students move to using standard units to measure linear distances.   Many classes move right to using standard rulers for this, without helping students understand some of the key concepts.  Most of the issues students have are due to the fact they don’t really understand what rulers are, or how they work.

I feel one of the key principles in measurement is that students should not use a tool unless they have constructed one themselves.  For linear measurement, this is what I would consider is an essential pathway:

Students measure objects using centicubes
Students measure objects using centicube ruler
Students measure objects using standard ruler

Most of the resources below support these transitions.


Line Estimator
This is a neat tool that lets students estimate a line length, and then immediately check their accuracy.   Full instructions included.
Centicube Ruler
This is a ‘ruler’ that just shows 1 cm cubes. Students should use these to measure objects after using actual centicubes.  Some students will naturally move to numbering their rulers rather than counting each time, mimicking a commercial ruler setup.

Flexible Ruler

Directions for a metre made of ten decimetre straw pieces.  Helps students with benchmarks and integrates place value.




Speak Your Mind