Measurement Olympics 2015

Happy Wednesday, friends!  I'm just going to throw it out there that I have not been an amazing teacher this week.  My little family and I are getting ready to visit our boys in Africa in *eleven sleeps* SOOOO I've been doing all that I can to get prepared at home and at school.  I'll be missing five days of work, so it's important that my sub plans are on point... PLUSSSSSS we are taking care packages from adoptive families for about 50 kids with us.  ANNNDDD we are meeting our sons for the first time ever!!!  My mind has been racing, my credit card has been on fire, and my body can't possibly get enough done with only 24 hours in a day.  I have made my first little boys' clothes purchases and I'm trying to cross all my T's so that I can enjoy my time away.  With that being said, my mind is racing constantly and I feel like I can't just catch a breath and enjoy my time in my classroom.  I'm hoping that I'll get everything done by this weekend so that I can be fully present next week in the classroom before leaving!  Not to mention we have our grade level field trip next Wednesday... just add that in the mix of allllll the craziness!

Well, yesterday I knew I needed to step up my game.  It was time for our annual Measurement Olympics!  You can read about my first go-round HERE!  It was entirely too windy.... seriously, papers blowing everywhere, pencils flying across the cement, chalk rolling around, and even our yardsticks were traveling with the wind!!!  But, I just couldn't wait another day.  After all, it is spring in Texas.  Wind all day every day!  We spent the majority of our time chasing our belongings, but the learning was still happening!  Here are some pictures from our day...

We have similar events every year.  They are simple and I just think of them on the spot.  Every students completes every event at the same time.  We get in starting position, I count down (3, 2, 1.... BLOW!).  They use chalk to mark where their cotton ball landed.  Then, they measure away!  I demonstrate each event before counting down :)  We do simple things... blow the cotton ball, flick it, toss it upwards, kick it gently, spin and toss, push it with one hand while holding it with the other, drop it, etc.  Nothing fancy, I promise!!!  Can you see how they tried to keep their spirals from flying around with their jackets... it was such a mess out there, ha!

Let me offer a few suggestions...
-Use pom poms or cotton balls
-Use yardsticks (the cotton balls travel a long ways!!!)
-Do this after teaching addition with regrouping!!
-Let students work together to add up measurements (We shared yardsticks!)
-Use chalk to mark where the cotton ball landed so that it won't blow away!
-If possible, do this on a day with ZERO wind!! Your life will be so much easier!
-Demonstrate each event
-It is easiest if you do all your estimates in class before heading outside.  I demonstrated each event quickly and had my students make their estimates so that once we got outside that wouldn't get pushed to the side!!

We always use our math spirals, but I thought it might be easier to just put a recording sheet on a clipboard and head outside next year.  You can get this freebie HERE!  This takes ZERO prep to do, and your kids will absolutely love it.  They thought it was seriously the best thing ever!!!  I'm trying to think of other activities that we can do similar to this one because they were so excited about learning!!!  It's worth it, I promise!
 Before I go, I posted some iPad freebies on Blog Hoppin' last week.  You can get my backgrounds and iPad rules HERE!
I'm off to do some laundry and get ready for tomorrow!  Have a great rest of the week!


Rebecca Bowman said...

Hi Amy, You talk a lot about how you use ipads in your classroom. I was curious if you had a specific app that you like for Reading practice?

Courtney Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing! I will defiantly have to try measurement Olympics during my measurement unit next year. It sounds like a lot of fun!

Mary said...

Best wishes and safe travels!

Dina Francisco said...

We are going to walk to the park and do measuring. This would be such a cute idea for them to do while at the park. I definitely will share this with my team! Congratulations on your boys. From one adoptive parent to's such a blessing!

Cherry said...

Hi Amy,

This came at a perfect time for us, as we started our measurement unit with our Grade 2s yesterday. All four Grade 2 classes have completed their olympics, and everyone loved it. Such a great activity. Thanks for sharing- the recording sheet made life much easier!