Category Archives: Measurement

An activity from

I was contacted recently by requesting that I post one of their hand-on activities. Since a component of blogging I truly value is supporting others on a similar journey, I decided to agree !

If you like the activity, you may want to check out their website, they have many more

Activity : Tip the Scales for Estimation
Fifth Grade Math Activities: Tip the Scales for EstimationOkay, checking addition problems can be boring. Solving a math problem twice can be tedious. But finding the total weight of a group of family members can be hilarious, especially if your child is calculating and estimating the weight of a diverse group of subjects, like an 8 lb. cat, a 22 lb. toddler, and a 180 lb. grandpa!
  • Bathroom scale
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Family members

What You Do:

  1. Have your child record the weight of several willing family members. Have a scale available, if needed. These family members can include parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt and uncles, cousins and pets.
  2. Ask your child to add up the weights of all the participants to find the total number of pounds the group weighs.
  3. Using estimation, have your child check to see if his calculated results are reasonable. Suggest to your child that he first estimate the weight of each individual to the nearest ten pounds or five pounds. This is especially important if the individual is a pet. Sometimes it’s hard for kids to estimate the weight of adults. If your child’s estimation is not reasonable, suggest a more reasonable number. Then ask him to add all of the estimated numbers together.
  4. Have your child compare his estimation to his calculation. Discuss the use of estimation to verify, or check, calculations. Give examples of how this tool can be helpful in real world situations. If you’d like to extend the activity, start thinking about multiplication and division. How many cats would weigh the same a grandpa? How many baby sisters would weigh the same as Dad? Have fun calculating the numbers, and with your family, too!

For more activities:


Field trip to Timeland

My daughter has been working on reading time at School. When we did one of our WedWoPro problems on time (here), I could tell that she was  quite curious about it. She started asking questions about clocks: do they all have numbers? Do they all have 2 hands? Are they all round?

Why don’t we go on a field trip, Rosie?

Now, hearing “field trip” always works like magic with my kids.  When? Where? What do we need to bring? Could we have a picnic there?

Saturday. Craft store. Camera. Well…

If your child is talking about time, give it a try. It is a lot of fun, and of course, any store with a large selection of clocks will do.

We saw numerous of clocks …


… found additional topics to discuss… (e.g. How about these, Rosie? How do they relate to clocks ?)


… and as often with field trips, unexpected moments of excitement… a number line,  right in front of us (I know, looks more like a ruler to me, may be time to find an activity to connect number lines and rulers 🙂

Number line

We ended up with the plan of making our own clock. A Summer project, I reckon.


We sure will continue our exploration of time, who knows where it is going to take us.



Click # 5 – A classic, right ?

Spotting anything related to Math, and take a picture of it : “Click” is a quick picture-post to help you show your kids that Math is indeed all around.

Who hasn’t done that as a kid? How old was the tree???



Exploring money a little further …

Quick post to complete what I wrote earlier this week (here). Somehow I forgot to include another relevant book about money. Let me address that.


Indeed, the book “If you made a million” (by D. M. Schwartz and illustrated by S. Kellogg) provides a nice support to extend the discussion my child and I started with Dollars and Cents for Harriet (B and G Maestro). It goes from coins, to bills, to checks, or how $10 could be paid through 1 ten-dollar bill, 2 five-dollar bills or… a 5-inch pile of dimes. It even includes bank accounts and interests, as well as choices you have to make when you have money (e.g. spending, saving, both).

Another great resource to explore money !

Talking about time with young children

I often wondered the best approach to talk about time with my young kids. Until I saw a birthday celebration at my son’s Montessori School.

A representation of the sun is set up in the middle of the carpet. The birthday child holds a representation of the Earth. And starts walking. First rotation around the sun, first year, second rotation, second year, and so on until the child has had the Earth rotated around the Sun the number of years that has passed since he/she was born.

How brilliant.Earth&Sun

Years. Month. Weeks. Hours. Minutes. Second. All, somewhat connected to our Sun and dearly Earth.

Both of my kids  have been quite receptive to this concept.

“You mean the Earth has turned THAT many times around the sun since you were born???”

I know. I can’t believe it either.