Measurement Math Lessons and Activities – Hands-on and Digital Ready!

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The topic of measurement in 3rd grade is an opportunity for such great, hands-on, real-world learning! Students move from an understanding of measuring length in metric and linear units in 2nd grade to telling and measuring intervals of time, measuring perimeter and area, and measuring weight and volume. This robust unit (part of the 3rd Grade Guided Math Curriculum) of study accesses students’ experiences and provides project-like exploration of these topics on a deep level. Far beyond simply teaching grade-level skills, this content encourages critical thinking and active problem solving to engage students in their own learning process.

3rd Grade Unit 5 Mini-Units

  • Mini-Unit 1: Telling Time
  • Mini-Unit 2: Measuring Intervals of Time
  • Mini-Unit 3: Measuring Perimeter
  • Mini-Unit 4: Measuring Area
  • Mini-Unit 5: Measuring Weight & Volume

Mini-Unit 1: Telling Time

By 3rd grade, students have been working with clocks and telling time for several years already. After the chaos of the past couple of school years though, it is important to assess student levels and provide reteaching as needed for missed content. This mini-unit backtracks and provides carefully supported instruction in telling time with a focus on analog clocks. While using analog clocks may be going the way of the dinosaur, the complex levels of processing needed to accurately tell time are valuable learning experiences that apply to students’ lives on many levels.

Mini-Unit 2: Measuring Intervals of Time

Mini-Unit 2 extends student exploration of time to include how long activities take, what time activities start, and when activities are finished. In addition to telling time, an understanding of elapsed time is one of the first mature life skills students develop that gives them a better understanding of the world. At the same time, mathematical understanding continues to be developed as students think in intervals of time and solve problems involving past and future times.

small group math activity for telling time third grade - guided math lessons - telling time math mat and task cards

Mini-Unit 3: Measuring Perimeter

I feel pretty strongly that teaching perimeter is best accomplished before students tackle 2-dimensional area. Mini-Unit 3 explores perimeter as a linear measurement that builds on 2nd grade understanding of measuring length. All 4 operations are involved in the study of perimeter, as well as geometric attributes that justify solutions mathematically. There is also ample opportunity to gain further experience with number patterns and explore even and odd numbers as they relate to perimeter measurements.

Mini-Unit 4: Measuring Area

Area measurement is an abstract concept that can be difficult for 3rd graders to grasp. In Mini-Unit 4, students work with tiling extensively to connect the square unit with space that occupies both length and width. Tiling is connected to prior experience with repeated addition in 2nd grade (as a foundation for multiplication), then extended to bridge the connection between repeated addition and multiplication. Students will work with multiplication and division as they master area measurement, including using the distributive property of multiplication to find larger areas and using the additive properties of area to find the area of rectilinear shapes. Geometric properties of squares and rectangles continue to be used to provide evidence as to why strategies work, and are compared and contrasted with the linear measurement of perimeter. Students will also explore finding “all possible options” of rectangles with certain areas or perimeters, including working with factors and side lengths in tables.

Mini-Unit 5: Measuring Weight & Volume

Weight and volume are another great, real-life topic that will get students engaged and excited because of their relevance to student interests. Mini-Unit 5 explores basic metric units of measure because of the easy-to-comprehend base-10 relationships between units within one system. Students will develop internal benchmarks of very small and very large metric units and think logically about the magnitude of liquid volume and weight measurements. The mini-unit then introduces students to US customary measurement units for volume and weight, using basic conversions to look at number patterns used in function tables.

Digital Guided Math Activities Included!

Each component of the 3rd Grade Guided Math Curriculum comes in printable and digital versions to maximize you flexibility teaching these important concepts. YOU can choose which version of each lesson component should be used – and when – for your diverse learners.

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