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Making a Yardstick - 2nd grade edition

Students will make their own yard stick and measure their heights

Cycle Type

  Contextualized Math

This is the Contextualized Math cycle type. Cycle types used to organize cycles by categories.

Maker Mindset:

In maker tasks, students are invested in what they create, are interested in using what they’ve created, and in learning what classmates have created. This should be true in both making and in mathematics.

Maker tasks encourage trying out design ideas early to see if they are feasible. If they work, they are revised and improved upon. If they don’t, they are replaced by new ideas quickly without losing too much time pursuing dead-ends. This habit of mind also applies to mathematics. While solving math problems, students should test their ideas early. Will an idea lead to answers that is reasonable rather than too big or too small? If we are writing a general expression or equation, does it work for small cases? Can we tell without solving if a solution will be positive or negative?

CC Standards:

2.MD.A, 2.MD.A.2, 2.MD.D, 2.MD.B, 2.OA.A, 2.NBT.A.2

You can find descriptions of all common core math standards at Common Core Math Standards

Students will complete the yardstick challenge where they are making their own yard stick and use it to measure their heights (or other body parts - feet, armspan etc.) Through the challenge and 1 follow-up lesson, the mathematical purpose is developing understanding of linear measurement, (2.MD.A), measure in and relate different units - inches and feet (2.MD.A.2), generating measurement data (2.MD.D), relating addition and subtraction to length (2.MD.B). They will engage in mathematical practices 5 (appropriate tools) and 6 (attending to precision).

Building a maker mindset;

Other mathematical purposes:

  • Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction (2.OA.A)
  • Understand place value - skip count by 5s (2.NBT.A.2)

Prior Experience

Measuring, addition, and subtraction.

Materials Needed for this Cycle

  • Blank yardstick or meterstick
  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • 3 inch by 5 inch index card (real index cards are better than self-made ones, which will be inaccurate due to human error)