# Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Length

## Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Length

Category : Uncategorized

Dear Family, below is a brief guide to understanding the topic of length, as well as some practical suggestions as to how you might support your children’s understanding at home. Also below, are a series of links to digital resources that will help both the children, and you, learn more about length. The digital resources are organised according to approximate class level:

#### Understanding Length

Length is the distance between two points; the length of the pencil is the distance from one end to the other; the length of a person is the distance from their feet to the top of their head. Certain lengths will often be described using other words; lengths that are typically vertical will be described as height; if an something is 2-D or 3-D the side with the shorter(est) length will typically be described as the width or breadth or depth. There are many adjectives to describe length: long, tall, wide, broad, deep, short, narrow, shallow etc.

Like weight and capacity, length has been traditionally measured using two separate systems: imperial units/US customary units (inches, feet, miles etc) and metric measures (metres, centimetres, millimetres, kilometres etc). In Ireland, the changeover to all metric measures began in the early 1970s and was completed in 2005. Therefore, only metric measures are taught in Irish schools.

In school, the children are enabled to compare, estimate and measure length. In the infants classes, the children work with non-standard units (e.g. what is the length of the table in paper clips, markers or straws?) and then they are gradually introduced to the standard metric units of length i.e. metre (first class), centimetre (second class), kilometre (third class) and millimetre (fifth class). Children in the older classes will also be introduced to, and work with, more complex concepts related to length, such as perimeter and scale on maps etc.

Do you know how the metric system came into being? It has an interesting history! Watch this video and/or read this article. For more background info on length you can read these posts from Maths is Fun and SplashLearn.

#### Practical Suggestions for all Children

• Talk about length, width, distances etc with your children. Draw their attention to length in their lives at home and beyond:
• Long items and short items; tall people and short people; narrow bridges and wide roads; deep end of the swimming pool and the shallow end.
• Look at the labels on children’s clothes; do they notice how, in many shops, there is a number on the label (eg 128, 134, 140 etc) that indicates the height of the child in cm. What other clothing items mention cm?
• If competing in, or spectating at, running races (eg Community Games, Athletics Ireland events) or swim meets, take note of how the distances are usually in m and km.
• Look at road signs indicating distances in km; explore map apps and sat navs on devices (e.g. Google Maps) to identify the distance between your location and your destination.
• If looking at maps, locate the scale reference to get a sense of how the distances represented on the map relate to the distances in reality.
• Encourage your child to develop their own personal benchmarks for metric measures e.g. the width of a child’s little finger is approximately 1 cm; the width of a child’s outstretched arms (arm span) is often 1 m; the length of a child’s ‘giant’ step is often 1 m; the width/depth of a bank card or loyalty card is approximately 1 mm. This will help the child relate to these units of length and to internalise them.
• At home, use a height chart to measure and record your child’s height. Or mark and measure heights on a piece of furniture, door jamb, etc. Return to this every six months or so, to allow your child to reflect on their own growth.
• What objects do you have at home that can measure length? Measuring tapes, rulers etc., could be left somewhere, easily accessible, so that they can be used for play purposes. Allow the children to explore how they work and use them to measure the length/height of the items and people. Draw your child’s attention to the markings and their meaning, and to how many mm there are in a cm or a m, how many cm in a m etc.
• Involve your child in any measuring activity that might be required around the home. Getting new furniture? How big is each piece? Will there be enough room for it? Getting new curtains or blinds? Measure together the width and drop that is required. Getting new carpet? What length of a roll is needed?
• Enlist the help of older siblings if available. As they explain and support the younger members of the family, they will also be developing and consolidating their own knowledge and skills, especially communicating mathematically.
• Draw the children’s attention to any other situation where length needs to be considered: height requirements for fairground or theme park rides; height requirements for children’s car seats, maximum size of baggage allowed with airlines, etc.

#### Digital Resources for Infants

Comparing Lengths: A video lesson from Matholia

Comparing Lengths: A story lesson from Matholia

Measuring Length (non standard units): A video lesson from Matholia

Long and Short with Kermit & Grover: The Sesame Street favourites explore long and short.

Number Jacks: Going Wrong, Going Long. Another episode for length is Measured Response

Happy Numbers Kindergarten: Work through the activities from Module 3, Topic A and B.

Let’s Compare: A comparing sizes game, including picking out the biggest, smallest, shortest etc

I know it – Longer/Taller or Shorter: Interactive quiz for Kindergarten. Also available: Measure length in non-standard units

Long, tall, short, wide, narrow: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription.

#### Digital Resources for First and Second Classes

Measuring Length (non standard units): A video lesson from Matholia

Units of Length – Metre: A video lesson from Matholia. Follow this with Measuring Length in Metres

Units of Length – Centimetre:  A video lesson from Matholia. Follow this with Measuring Length in Centimetres

Comparing Lengths: A video lesson from Matholia

Bar Models: A video lesson from Matholia, showing how to use bar models to solve length addition problems. Follow this with how to solve length subtraction problems.

White Rose Length & Height: a series of lessons on comparing and measuring lengths and heights. These series of lessons could be followed up with other measurement lessons in year 1 and/or year 2

Khan Academy – Length (First Grade): Watch the videos and then answer the practice questions. Afterwards, for something more challenging,  look at the Second Grade Activities. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other topics/grades.

Happy Numbers First Grade: Pupils could start the activities in Module 3, Topic B.  When completed they could move on to all the topics in Grade 2, Module 2.

That Quiz – Measurement: Measure the length of the fish in cm. Select level 1 on the left hand side.

Splash Learn – Measurement Games: (First Grade) Estimate and measure length. Second class class could try the Second Grade games, choosing metric units.

Measurement: a selection of games from ixl.com. Choose the games to do with long/tall and short, length and centimetres. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription.

#### Digital Resources for Third to Sixth Classes

Converting metres and centimetres: A video lesson from Matholia. Follow this with converting metres to centimetres

Converting metres and kilometres: A video lesson from Matholia.

Bar Models: A video lesson from Matholia, showing how to use bar models to solve length multiplication problems. Follow this with how to solve length division problems.

White Rose Length & Perimeter: a series of lessons, that could be followed up with other measurement lessons in year 3, year 4, year 5, and/or year 6.

Khan Academy – Perimeter (Third Grade): Watch the videos and then answer the practice questions. Afterwards, for something more challenging,  look at the Fourth Grade activities on Area and Perimeter, the Metric System and/or Converting Metric Units. Or even the Fifth Grade activities on Converting Metric Length Units. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other topics/grades.

Finding the Area & Perimeter of a Rectangle: A video lesson from Mashup Math.

That Quiz – Measurement: Measure the length of the fish. Select level 1 on the left hand side, initially and then work up to level 2 and 3.

That Quiz – Geometry: Options to calculate the perimeter of rectangles, triangles, circles and trapezoids. You can also choose to calculate the area of the shapes.

Coconut Ordering Game: Select Length to order amounts of cm and m.

I know it – Third Grade: Scroll down to Measurement (metric units of length) to select those activities. For perimeter activities scroll down to Geometry (perimeter). There are similar activities in Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade.

Measurement: a selection of games from ixl.com. Choose the games to do with length and metric units of length. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription.

Comparing and converting metric units: Practice games incorporating metric units of weight, capacity and length.