Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Length of the Links

Hey y'all! Another busy week is almost over. {Hooray, Hooray!}

And by the looks of the TPT sellers that I follow, Dr. Seuss day is almost upon us. There are so many Dr. Seuss products to choose from {and everything looks great!} I think there is enough material to keep Dr. Seuss going throughout the entire month of March!

For me? I'll be happy if my littles can focus long enough to make it through March 2. I'm not going to say that my 8 boys are wearing me pretty thin but they ARE! 

Anywho, I don't usually get to share much math-wise because I am bound to our pacing guide/math series, but I did sneak in a neat activity the other day. My wonderful neighbor {who's retiring this year, boo hoo} shared this activity with me and she can't remember where she got it from. So, if you know. Let me know, 'kay?  Thanks!

This is a measurement activity on length (and some critical thinking is involved, too.)

1) One sheet of construction paper - 12 by 18 inches, per pair of students
2) scissors
3) glue

The pairs are supposed to work together, devise a plan, and create the longest chain out of ONE piece of construction paper.

I showed them how to make a chain. Answered any lingering questions. Then, spread the pairs out around the room, and let them get to work.

When they were all done with their chains. We went outside to measure them. While we were outside, they helped me measure their chains and they were required to complete the activity sheet to record their findings.

Here's the activity sheet you can use if you'd like:

The Chain Gang Activity Sheet

The kids really liked to see each other's chains and they had a good discussion about the strategies they used. Also, we graphed the results of the lengths and the number of links. 

They learned that it didn't matter how many links they had, but how long they made them. Some kids thought that several small links would make their chain longer. They were a bit sad to find out they were wrong, but I did show them that their chains were stronger then the longest chains. Smiles again! {phew}

Two groups had really long chains but the girl group mistakenly had two of their links connected to nothing so their chain was slightly smaller than the boy group. Drat! I wanted those girls to show my haughty boys up. Oh well. They did learned their lesson.

Mya said, "Ms. Monroe! You always tell us to check our work and we forgot!"

I had to smile at that. :)

On a side note, I think I'm reading too many Junie B. books. 
I may be talking like her, now. Yikes!

If you decide to do this activity, please let me know how it turns out.
I'd love to hear from you!


  1. This sounds so fun! Sounds like your kids really enjoyed it. I am going to squeeze this into my lesson plans next week! I can't wait =)

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  3. I love this idea. Those are the kind of math lessons I like to teach, too. I'm definitely doing this. Thank YOU!!

    Grade ONEderful

  4. Love it! I recently showed my kids how to cut a hole in an 8.5x11 piece of paper big enough to walk through:). Fun!!

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