I offered out this introduction to measuring. When I say measuring I don't mean accurate measuring by the cm. I have offered real measuring tools such as tape measures and rulers but these are more for rein-acting what they see when the adults around them measure things. To encourage a bit of role play. I am hoping this will prompt mathematical language. The use of numbers even if it is not accurate. The concept of size is really all I am looking for. The use of words like "Big, Small, Bigger and smaller"
I offered up some Duplo blocks as a measuring tool as well. We can add and take away as many as we need to match the size of the item we are measuring. We can then count the blocks and compare to the amount of blocks used to measure another item. This will help to decide which is bigger and which is smaller. We can even adapt this for older children by asking them how many blocks bigger the item is. Working out the difference in size between 2 items.
Little "R" took no time in exploring this. She went strait for the tape measures. She seemed to know what to do with them and used random numbers to describe the size of each item. Some of the numbers used were quite large, 30 for example. She can not yet count to 30 but has an idea of the numbers existence.
As she measured each Gourd and Pumpkin, she talked about their sizes.
"This one is a big one"
"This one is quite small"
We used the blocks to compare the sizes and even used the ruler to make sure the bricks were level with the top of the Gourd!
We did some sorting of items by size.
The Early years outcomes states that children between the ages of 22 and 36 months are
• Beginning to categorise objects according to properties such as shape or size.
• Beginning to use the language of size.
With my help Little "R" put the stacking pumpkins in size order. This is not something that children of her age can usually manage but she is starting to show and understanding of this concept.
Between 40 and 60 months children may
• Order two or three items by length or height.
Little "R" is 38 months and just coming in to this age group. We will continue to group items by size over the next few months and develop this interest.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
This activity was set up to help the children grasp a basic concept of measurement and size. I wanted to foster the use of Mathematical language. Little "R" was very keen to try this out and immediately showed an interest in the tape measures.She knew how they worked and knew that you used a number after measuring items. She used her current knowledge of this tool and how it is used and brought it to this activity. She was engaged and motivated to explore the size of each item and very soon began comparing them against each other. She was making links with things she she seen in the past and her current understanding of size and measurements. She started to show and interest in sorting items by size. Using language like "Big, bigger and biggest"!
Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas