Thursday, April 4, 2013

Comparing and Ordering Capacity

Over the past couple of weeks I have been teaching students about measuring the capacity of different containers. Our first lesson didn't run so smoothly, but students learnt a lot about the types of containers that are easier to measure, and more importantly, those that aren't! We used video cameras to record the measurements and then discussed how to measure more effectively - right to the top with no spills and overflow. We also had trouble with the initial worksheet I designed, and the camera batteries were varying degrees of flat. We learnt from all our mistakes so that when we repeated the lesson a couple of days later it went much more smoothly.

While I'm sure it would be pretty terrible if we had to repeat EVERY lesson because of mistakes, I think that from time to time it actually forms an important part of the learning. In this case, students learnt a lot from the discussion. Also, as students were able to choose which containers they measured each time, it didn't feel so much like a do-over. Plus, due to the appeal of the activity - water play AND video cameras - the students didn't feel like they were being punished!

We then had a rich task that I created which involves making paper cups for Mother Bear, Father Bear and Baby Bear according to their specifications. It was a lot of fun and the students really got into it. It was great to hear their discussion and see their problem solving strategies. As with all assessment tasks, there were some who REALLY got it, and some who didn't.

When putting together these worksheets, I experimented with creating my own font and a quick first go at a border. Since these, I have experimented some more and have come up with other fonts and borders to 'reveal' in later worksheet packets! I'm having a lot of fun exploring what I can do by pairing my iPad and computer to create worksheets.

The worksheets for these lessons are available free at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. The video instructions for making a paper cup are embedded below.

This packet includes:

  • Instructions, Recommendations and Connections
  • 3 worksheets for students to use for a group task
  • A rich task with assessment rubric

These resources are particularly useful for Australian teachers as they align with the Australian Curriculum for Year 2.

Update 13 May 2013: If you found this resource interesting, you may also be interested in Comparing and Measuring Mass.

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