Measuring at the Montessori Children’s House

The children have been very busy exploring the mathematical concepts of measurement.  In the sandpit and water play activities we hear language like small and large, full, half full and empty, more, and too much, deep and not deep or shallow, and numbers as they count the shells they dig up.

The children are also learning measuring language when they use the Montessori Sensorial materials such as the Knobbed Cylinders which are thick and thin, tall and short, and bigger and smaller.

The Broad Stairs are all the same length but differ in height and width. The children are learning to discriminate differences in size. We use the language, wide and narrow, wider, and narrower. These activities can also be done with a blindfold to develop stereognostic skills.

The children use the Pink Tower and the Knobless Cylinders to experiment with height and length.

There are ten Red Rods, increasing in increments of 10 cm, the shortest is 10cm and the longest is 100cm. The children enjoy carrying them to the mat and placing them in order from longest to shortest. Often, they choose to arrange the Red Rods into a maze to walk through.

Inside the children are loving the scales with silver weights and just this week we decided to bring out the original kitchen scales as we thought the children would love to experiment with them.

We also used a set of digital scales to weigh the Native Beehive. Sugarbag bees told us that if it weighs more than 9kg it’s time for them to come and extract some more honey! We are happy to say that it weighed 9.4kg.

Cooking uses a lot of measuring skills such as volume, mass and weight, length, and temperature.

While we were reading Katie and the dinosaurs, one of our budding palaeontologists told us about the Stegosaurus being 9 meters long! We grabbed the 1m ruler and began to measure out 9m, soon we had other friends join us all wanting to help. We discovered it was 9m from the stage nearly all the way to the cupboard doors. So long!

We had established the length of the dinosaur being 9m but what about the heigh, the children wanted to know. There was so much discussion about how we could measure the height. The children said that we would need a ladder like the one the electrician used to install our new fire alarm system.

One of the children brought in a Bunya Nut they found in Jubilee Park. The children have been weighing the Bunya Nut and comparing it to other items on the nature table, such as a feather. One is very obviously heavy and the other very light. They children enjoy testing their strength.

We also experimented with measuring speed by rolling different things down the hill.

So much rich discussion and so many ideas to build on as the children play.

We are:

  • Extending our early literacy and numeracy understandings in meaningful ways.
  • Being active, enthusiastic learners, creating with open ended materials to represent our ideas and interests. Developing our fine motor skills and concentration.
  • Exploring, discovering, predicting, and investigating. 
  • Being valued as competent and capable learners.
  • Learning to listen and express ideas in a group
  • Having fun!


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