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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Measuring Penny

Measuring Penny
by Loreen Leedy

Ana has seen me use my "Inch-Tape", aka measuring tape, a lot when I am sewing; especially when I am sewing something for her. D uses his around the house for the various home improvement projects. So, Ana had a fairly rough/vague idea of "measuring" things, for whatever purposes.

So, when I came across Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy, whose informational books are widely used in many mainstream classrooms, I decided to borrow it for Ana, even if she doesn't get every concept therein.

My name is Lisa, and my teacher says our next big homework project is to measure something.

Thus starts the book which lays out the basics of measurement - how to measure, what to measure, how to record the measurements - i.e., units, standard and non-standard, comparison.

Lisa decided to measure her pet Boston terrier, Penny. And compare Penny's measurements with other dogs in the neighborhood. She uses the standard ruler, as well as one of Penny's dog biscuits as the non-standard unit for recording. Lisa measures the length of the noses of the dogs, their height when they sit, how high they can jump for which she uses herself as the unit - Penny jumps waist-high...

She also measures the amount of time she spends taking care of Penny, times for Penny's walking trips. Lisa even makes up a "Penny Thermometer" scale of measurement with drawings showing the outside temperature based on Penny's looks and demeanor.

Lisa also measures the Cost of having Penny, in dollar amount. And ends by stating "...she's worth a lot." by showing the Value of having Penny.

While many of the concepts in the book eluded her at this time, being just a kindergartner, the book did inspire Ana to measure things around the house, making up her own non-standard units like the length of her pencil: our pet kitty is 3 pencils long, his tail is more than 1 pencil long but less then 2 pencils long... and so on.

The author's website has resources and project ideas, some downloadable material.

I made a note to revisit this book after first grade to see where we are. Meanwhile, Ana enjoyed Penny and now wants a Boston terrier for a pet. This from a girl who is mortally afraid of dogs of any kind - even itty-bitty chihuahuas.

[image source: Open wide, Look inside ]

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