Nonstandard Measurement activities and lessons help kids learn foundational measurement skills. This is always one of my favorite math units because students are highly engaged, since nonstandard measurement feels very much like play to them! They get to use ordinary objects to determine the length of different objects. Who wouldn’t want to learn to measure this way?
In primary grades, nonstandard measurement is typically one of the required state standards. Standard measurement using rules and measuring tapes tends to be introduced in higher grade levels, but when my highest learners are ready I introduce this concept. However, let’s lay the foundation first…
To build a deep understanding of measurement and the skills students need to measure properly, we need to teach how to measure using nonstandard units of measurement. To ensure you are teaching measurement, and not how to count objects, we must introduce the rules of measurement.
Here are the standard measurement rules you should introduce to your learners.
- Starting points
- Standard units
- Uniform repeating units to measure and compare objects
- No gaps or overlaps
- How many units were used tells how ‘big’ something is
Learning to measure is a process that requires thinking, steps and analysis. Nonstandard measuring is the foundation of standard measurement, and without it we are setting our students up for failure in future grade levels.
What objects can you use for nonstandard measurement?
Looking for a free nonstandard measurement center or small group lesson? Here’s a freebie I have available for you! Click here to gain access.