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Measurement and Using Data


Using Data

In its most basic form, data is simply information sets (or groups) that have been categorized based on qualities they have in common. Children learn early to make generalizations about the world around them. For instance, children may see differences in hair color, eye color, skin color, shape, size and color of objects, children who are wearing sneakers vs. children who are wearing sandals, etc.

These types of generalizations allow children to order the world around them. These generalizations become data. Once children can categorize, they are then introduced to displaying their findings in the form of a graph or chart. Children are then asked to read and interpret a chart or graph with data that has been collected and displayed by someone else. We often think of data collection and analysis as complicated, but it can be as simple as finding out how many items there are in a category and showing that on a chart.


Today, measurement means more than just working with rulers. This area of math includes such topics as telling time, working with a calendar, weight, length, perimeter, area, Standard and Metric units, capacity (how much a container can hold) and volume.  

Telling Time:
Your child will be expected to recognize an analog clock (one that shows the hour hand and the minute hand moving around the clock) and a digital clock (one that shows just the numbers in an easy to read format - i.e., 8:03); begin by telling time to the hour, then progressing to the half and quarter time. Children should be able to represent the time with standard notation (example 8:15) and with words (eight fifteen; fifteen minutes past eight; or, a quarter past eight). Additionally, they should be able to distinguish between A.M. and P.M. as well as have the concept and later calculate elapsed time (Sally put the cake in the oven at 2:00. It has to cook for 2 hours. When should she take the cake out of the oven?)

Telling Time: Seconds Minutes, Hours, Days

A Telling Time Story: time for Friends

Calendar: A calendar provides children with a host of information about measuring time. Students will become familiar with the calendar as a tool for keeping track of days, months seasons and years. The calendar also provides teachers with a learning tool for counting, recognizing and extending patterns as well as reading common words used frequently in our everyday language.

Money: Children love to count money! Money is based on the place value/base ten system, so counting money can help your child with math.

Linear Measurement: Children love to explore their world and in doing so, they discover that not all things are the same size. In the youngest of these explorations, your child will begin linear measurement by using vocabulary to compare objects (taller/shorter; longer/shorter) and then begin to sort object according to size (from longest to shortest, tallest to shortest and vice versa). From here, many children explore measuring using nonstandard objects such as paper clips, crayons, linking cubes, etc. Then many children begin to explore and read measuring devices such as rulers, yardsticks and tape measures. As they experience linear measurement, students will begin to see that units of measure are not always found on the whole, but on the half as well.

Capacity and Volume:
In this area of measurement, your child will explore the idea of how much a container can hold. Early in this exploration, children will recognize that different size containers will hold different amounts of a substance. Later, your child can reason that while many containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, if the capacity is equal, then the amount that each container can hold will be the same.

Standard and Metric Units: The concept of the Metric System of Measurement is foreign to many of us; and for good reason. The Metric System is used throughout the world while our system is primarily used in the United States. However, a basic introduction and understanding of the Metric System is important. During your child’s early education experience, they will be introduced to the Metric System and have opportunities for basic exploration in measuring with centimeters, meters, kilometers, grams, and kilograms.