Anyway- I have to teach liquid capacity. And even though text book companies provide worksheets for this sort of thing- at a certain point I have to be honest with myself as an educator and admit that there is ZERO way for a kid to get a grasp of liquid measurement without actually measuring, you know, liquid.
Even though I hate water in the classroom, I do have possession of every sort of liquid measurement device a second grader could possibly manipulate. Because I'm a HOARDER. Just like the rest of you! Don't judge. I also have everything else you might possibly need during the day, whether it be a safety pin, a swab of deodorant, or a pair of socks. But I digress. Per usual.
I took advantage of a blissful day of 74, light breeze, and no humidity, to force the kids outside to play with water. Borrowed the water tap dealio from the custodian and went to work. It made a God awful racket in Flamingo Fabulous' Room as I filled my buckets. Dropped in some tub tints into the water- which thrilled my children to no end. They had never heard of them before. Good luck Moms and Dads on your next trip to Wally-mart.!
Here's some action photography:
Station one covered using measuring cups to fill large containers.
Station two covered using measuring spoons to fill unusually shaped drinking cups.
Station three covered using medicine droppers and the like to fill popsicle molds.
Station four was SUPPOSED to be about measuring how much water a sponge could soak up using large liquid measuring cups. It turned into more of a localized tsunami...
What did I learn from this as a teacher:
1) Gads. I hate water. Is it any wonder I don't swim?
2) Free explore is good, free explore is great. But free explore with only one of me and twenty two of them = tsunami and not enough real teaching moments to get them to also LEARN something. After we did this I had them come in and write about something they discovered, and one student wrote "One cup is about three centimeters". No, kittens. NO. *sigh*
3) I need adults to man each station for this to work better in the future.
4) Their hands down favorite station was the medicine droppers. They were all about playing doctor, but thankfully ( yes, Sweet Jesus, thank you!) not in an inappropriate way. "Hold still, and let me take your blood." was as close as we got to a possible line needing to be drawn. And actually, as far as medicine droppers go- it doesn't take that much water- so I might be able to live with this sort of exploration occurring in the classroom. Over a very specific table. That is on top of a large and dense fiber-rich towel. And also covered in a large and dense fiber -rich towel. With a mop nearby. And a shamwow.
5) I have too much stuff.
6) You know, this would be one way to make sensory buckets more academic for my second graders. (Seriously folks, can't someone come up with a decent nickname for this grade level? I have nickname envy of firsties and kinders...) So it's not liquid measurement exactly, but what if they used the same principles of leveling off the cups and the teaspoons with a bucket of coffee beans? Or sunflower seeds? Or buttons? Somehow I can deal with a mess that I can sweep over a mess I have to blot...
Somehow, I will find a way to make measurement more of a year long exploration and something my blood pressure and ridiculous psyche can handle. Ideas, anyone?
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