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The Principal’s New Clothes: A Lesson in realtionships and Measurement
October 5, 2010, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

OuThe Principla's New Clothesr school has a new principal! We are blessed to have a principal that loves to visit our classrooms. I think building a report with children is so important, especially for the principal. Students need to see the principal as an important part of our building , not just a person that sits in the office all day…and Mr. Ellis is just that type of principal!

Mr. Ellis asked if he could come in and read to the students,  of course we all invited him in. Watching him read the stories and interact with the kids was great…I got the feeling that this is the right fit for this principal and the kids LOVED it.

After he finished reading the book I asked him if he would mind if we took some measurements so we could make him some new clothes. I let the students decide which measurements we needed and they decided on the arm length, leg length, the chest and the hips…that was it. Part of me wanted to push for more measurements, but I wanted the students to have to think critically, so we wrote these measurements down. As they were taking the measurements, Mr. Ellis and I both knew that they were not correct, but again, I wanted the students to figure that out on their own. We thanked Mr. Ellis and after he left the room we started our creations.

I love this activity because students learn, in a meaningful way, what it means to create items using a scale. We have been looking at several maps of Michigan, so to help them understand what a scale was we started talking about our maps and I asked,”Is this how big Michigan is?”  It took a little discussion, but we finally agreed that Michigan was much larger than the maps we had. Many students started to see that these maps were all different sizes…after some searching one student found the map scale at the bottom of one of the maps…and the light bulbs came on! After learning about map scales I said that is what we are going to have to do to Mr. Ellis…we need to shrink his measurements.

As a class we decided that an easy way to “shrink” Mr. Ellis was to make all of the inches we measured into centimeters. Once we decided what our scale was going to be I brought out the scrapbook paper. This made their day! All the colors and patterns they could put together made them excited to create their new designs. I learned a lot by watching them measure. I also saw a lot of problem solving. The scrapbook pages were too short for some of the measurements (on purpose) so it was interesting to see how students solved this problem. What was wonderful was the kids started to realize that they needed more data…”How wide do we make the arms? How wide are his legs? How long is his shirt supposed to be? And my favorite…who measured the tie? It is only 3 centimeters according to our scale! That is when we stopped and had a discussion of what we could have done differently. It was an awesome discussion! Students started to talk about how they measured. If it was close they just went to the next number or if it wasn’t too far past the number they just rounded off. Students learned that we need to much more accurate in our measuring and many students shared their strategies of how they used their ruler.

Great learning took place that day! It continued after the creations were finished. As you can see they are all different sizes! We decided that if we were all accurate…they would not be so different!

Thank you Mr. Ellis for teaching my students the importance of measuring accurately and for being an awesome principal for our building!

Click on the link below to see our awesome creations!!
http://static.animoto.com/swf/w.swf?w=swf/vp1&e=1286314461&f=vZabmh7VnVvGjReAht1xXQ&d=143&m=a&r=w&i=m&options=

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3 Comments so far
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What a fabulous thinking and learning activity! I bet the kids had an absolute ball with it. Principals that interact with students this way are too rare a treasure. You are blessed!

Comment by ktenkely

Thanks for the comment! I am blessed, and so are my students!

Comment by alford300

[…] the rainforest, and this year I started the student blog pages.” Recommended posts: “The Principal’s New Clothes: A Lesson in realtionships and Measurement” and “Science […]

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