How I Got My Kids EXCITED About Measurement!

As I'm sure all of you know because of my obnoxious Instagram posts {not sorry!}, I am a fur mom! I brought my wonderful baby boy home almost 3 weeks ago, and he is definitely keeping me entertained {and on my toes}!!! 
Well, my kiddos know all about Dexter too. They are constantly asking to see pictures and videos, and had so much to ask me when I returned from picking him up. They love him almost as much as I do! That's why, in the middle of our measurement unit when I was feeling like length, width, height, and weight were getting a little dull, I decided to focus on something that they would be excited about… DEXTER!
This lesson was totally a spur of the moment idea, and it's funny because I always fine that my best lessons aren't the ones that I've planned for weeks! Is it like that for you too?
I wanted to challenge my kinders, so I decided to step out of the box and see how they would tackle the lesson themselves. I grabbed some popsicle sticks and some unifix cubes. I told my kiddos that I measured Dexter with popsicle sticks, and he was 2 popsicle sticks long. Then, I measured him again with unifix cubes, and found that he was 16 unifix cubes long. My question to them was: I think he will be 3 popsicle sticks long next month, so how many unifix cubes long will he be?
I only gave my students 3 popsicle sticks and 16 unifix cubes. I told them that they needed to figure out how to solve the problem without taking any more cubes! This really stumped some of them, but it was AMAZING to see their thought process throughout this whole lesson.
I think almost all of my kids tried to start at 16 and continue counting until their finger reached the end of the third popsicle stick. They were so convinced that they had the answer, and was disappointed when I told them to keep trying! Two little mathematicians worked through it until they solved the problem! I was amazed with their thinking, so I had them record their process in their journals, and then share with the class.

One of the students showed their process on the document camera, while the other explained it to the class. I am not sure why they chose a triangle shape, but it worked for them! They figured out that if 2 popsicle sticks are 16 cubes long, then 1 popsicle stick would be 8 cubes long. If you add 8 three times, you get 24!
Then, I had them check their answer using extra unifix cubes. The class was shocked by their discovery!
I hope this post has given you a little inspiration to get your kiddos excited about learning!!
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