Use Curious Ruler as a fun introduction to a measurement unit. Have kids work in pairs to measure several sets of objects. Depending on their age range, you could put together a box of objects for kids to measure, or you could have them look around the classroom to find objects. Come together as a class and discuss the results. Then ask kids to try to visually compare three objects. For example, ask kids to guess how much longer or shorter a pencil is than a sheet of paper and a yardstick.Continue reading Show less
Curious Ruler is an interactive tool kids can use to compare the lengths of two objects. They start by choosing one of 36 reference objects -- from different coins and bills to DVDs and legal paper. Then they choose an object to measure and place both objects side by side within the camera's view. Kids tap anywhere on the screen to take a photograph, and then drag sliding rulers on the next screen to measure both objects. The measuring tool displays either metric or U.S. units, and general comparisons of the lengths of the two objects. It also displays a comparison of the measured object to a handful of other reference objects. Please note that iOS 7 causes problems with text display, so the developer recommends that users update their iOS to a more recent version.
Kids can learn how to measure and compare the lengths of two objects. These are important early concepts for kids to grasp, and it helps build their visual-spatial skills and estimation strategies. One feature allows users to express the lengths of the two objects in either the metric or the U.S. system. The other feature focuses on comparison. For example, when kids choose a golf ball as the reference object and a permanent marker as the object to be measured, the results show that the marker is 3.1 times longer than the golf ball. This feature in particular does a good job of addressing an early Common Core standard. Some activities to apply and/or assess learning could help improve the learning value of Curious Ruler.
Key Standards Supported
Measurement And Data
Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. Limit to contexts where the object being measured is spanned by a whole number of length units with no gaps or overlaps.
Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.