Hi. I'm looking for a fantastic lesson on customary measurement using inches. What I had done this year was bring in a bag of things for the class to measure, and have them work in groups to find the measurement to the nearest inch, 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, etc. As a mini-lesson, I had displayed a giant ruler so that the kids would understand where the 1/2 and 1/4 inch markers are on the ruler. I'm looking for something a bit more interactive, or just something to liven things up a bit. A SmartBoard lesson would be great too. Please send ANY suggestions. Thanks!

I had the students take a white strip of paper and make their own ruler. They had to label every line on their homemade ruler. It seemed to help reinforce where those parts of the ruler are located. We also went on a "hunt" where students had to find something in the room that measured a specific amount. (Like find the object in the front of the room that is 3 1/4 inches long).

I read them the book of Hershey's measurement. In this book they compare inches to Hershey's miniatures. Then I bought a bag of Hershey's miniatures, and had the students sit in a circle around the carpet. I put an object in the center of the carpet, and they had to estimate how many inches it measured, writing it on a slate. Afterwards, one kid would line hershey's chocolates along the object to determine how many inches it measured. For every right guess, they would make a point. In the end the people with the most points earns a reward (sticker, homework coupon, etc) After you finish the lesson, distribute the chocolates among your students. It's a really fun lesson, and it's amazing how well they remember later what an inch is.

I also have my kids make their own rulers, but before that I have them measure objects just using units. For example, I give them an item like a paperclip and have them measure the width of their desk. Then when they get to the end of the desk and its not a "whole unit (paperclip)" they start coming up with reasoning about how to account for the fraction. It create fabulous discussion and deeper understanding of the concept. Van de Walle has a FANTASTIC book with lots of lessons in it for all concepts! It has really changed the way I teach.

We did the overhead as well. Basically going over first all 1/2 inches and then 1/4 inches. Creativity didn't rein in this particular unit for me... it was more just teaching it so they learned it... which took a while in itself. I like the Hershey idea. I might have to do that this year!