*Ad – Gifted Item
One of the things that we have been keen to do is to ensure that the children have a structure to their maths work, and we use the Maths No Problem books which I have written about before.
In the book that Daniel has just finished, and Emma has just started there’s a section on measurements. Children are asked to estimate distance and then measure it. When Daniel and I covered it first time around we had a lot of fun measuring and guessing at the length of various things and seeing how close we got.
Now Emma is soon to be working through this I was pleased when Learning Resources asked if we would like to take a look at their Measure Mate tool. We were gifted this item in exchange for a review, hence the ‘ad’ marking at the start of this post. My full disclosure policy can be found here.
What is the Measure Mate?
The measure mate is a tool that allows children to measure in a number of ways including a vertical measure, spirit levels and a trundle wheel. It all comes in a mesh bag which is handy for storing the various component parts when not in use.
There are three pieces that slot together easily and there’s some stickers which can be used to add some personalisation to the tool (although we haven’t used these as yet)
How did we use it?
We used the measure mate to measure distance outside. I wanted to consolidate some of the learning Daniel had been doing and get him to introduce some of the ideas he has learnt to Emma. We talked about the units of measurement and how we might use the trundle wheel to measure the distance between two lamp posts, thinking about why the trundle wheel might be more effective than a tape measure etc.
We estimated the distance (H suggested three metres, Emma 21 and Daniel 30) and then measured it using the trundle wheel. It was 50 metres.
We then estimated the distance to the next lamp post, taking into account if we thought they looked evenly spaced or not, and if not then how much difference was there.
The distance was 40 metres this time, and we talked about why the lamp posts might not be evenly spaced (we think because it would light the end of footpath where it is, but another 10 metres would have left the footpath be in darkness.
What did we think of the Measure Mate
I like the idea of the measure mate, and it got the children thinking about a number of different things, and by the end of our time outside they were getting much better at estimating distance. It reminded me very much of when I was doing similar things at school and using the wooden trundle wheels and listening to the click, click, click as the wheel turned.
The other tools are useful for measuring smaller things, but my children weren’t hugely interested in using these bits at the moment (although we did measure our feet!).
My only slight grumble is that, initially, the wheel was hard to push past the click and on slightly bumpy ground the fastening works loose, which means that it stops clicking. It’s easy enough to fix but did mean that we had to stop once or twice when measuring longer distances. That said the children enjoyed playing with it and it has been a useful tool for helping to bring to life some of the mathematical ideas we have been talking about.