When learning the concept of measurement, encourage students to use different objects as measuring tools. A trundle wheel is one example of an alternative to the standard yardstick and aids in teaching measurement in numerous ways.
Head Outdoors to Practice Perimeter
On a piece of paper, have students create a table with two columns and five to ten rows. Specify which perimeters you would like them to measure. For example: the perimeter of the basketball court or around the playground. In the final two rows, allow students to add their own items to measure. Have students fill in the table as they work. Follow up with a class discussion of which perimeters were greatest and least.
Incorporate Physical Activity
Have students walk for one minute and measure the distance travelled using the trundle wheel. As a follow-up, have students calculate how far they could walk in ten minutes, twenty minutes or one hour. Have students repeat the activity several times to test different variables, for example, arms swinging versus arms at sides.
Have students calculate the number of inches for one rotation of the trundle wheel. Then, have them measure lengths of objects with the trundle wheel. Next, based on the trundle wheel measurement, students can estimate the object's length in inches. Convert the measurements to other units. Allow students to measure the object with a yardstick or tape measure to see how close their estimation was. Incorporate number sense by calculating the difference between the estimation and the actual length.
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