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We can do maths 14

Let's explore measures length and height. Some practical ideas to help you cover Year 2 work. Easy for some and not so easy for others.



First for the boring part. Even though Tiny is working way below his age, I still like to know that he is making progress. And the way I do that is by looking at the National Curriculum and what it states that children should be taught in a given year.

I am a firm believer that children learn at their own pace and by helping them fully understand a concept before moving on, they will have a greater knowledge and when it comes to the really tricky stuff, they will be able to cope a lot better. But saying that, the National Curriculum is still a good tool to use, if used correctly.

This is what we need to cover next:

The National Curriculum states that in Year 2 children should learn about:- How to choose and use appropriate standard units to estimate and measure length/height in any direction (m/cm); mass (kg/g); temperature (C); capacity (litres/ml) to the nearest appropriate unit, using rulers,scales, thermometers and measuring vessels. Compare and order lengths, mass, volume/capacity and record the results using >, <, and =.

We are going to do a lot of maths talk today. We are going to be asking - 'What is the length?, Why is it important to line the object up at 0 on the ruler? How do the numbers on the ruler help us?

These may seem like silly questions, but getting Tiny to talk about his work as he is doing it helps him to become more confident in what he is doing, and shows me his understanding.



Measuring Objects smaller than 30cm

We will be finding as many objects as we can that are smaller than our ruler. I will write what the object is in his book and encourage him to write the length or how tall something is using the cm symbol. I am not concerned at this point to look at the millimeters, that can come later. For now, the most important thing is that he starts at the 0 on the ruler.

We will use the words length and height all the time.


Drawing Lines

This I know is going to be difficult for him because of his pencil control.

I am going to ask him to draw a line that is -

8cm long

4cm long

6cm long

Longer than 4cm but shorter than 12cm


Next I am going to give him a piece of string and ask him how he would measure it.


Now for the BIG STUFF

We will be raiding dad's tool cupboard for his metre ruler and his tape.

We will look at how long a metre is and notice that it is the same as 100cm.


We will draw two large circles in his book and explore what we can put in them.


This will lead to talk about when it is better to measure in cm and when it is better to use metres.



We can measure our found objects in metres and centimetres.


Flying aeroplanes

A lovely idea I was given from one of our facebook parents was making paper planes.

We will make some paper planes and measure how far they fly.

This I'm looking forward too. It should be great fun.


Compare the lengths

Use the words longer than, shorter than, or the same as.

In his book I will write lengths like:-


15cm is _____________________________________ 67cm

50 metres is __________________________________ 50m

80cm is ______________________________________ 80 m


and he will fill out the spaces using the terms longer, shorter or the same.


Next we will repeat, but this time he will use >, <, or =


Problem Solving

The strip of green paper is twice the size of a strip of red paper.

(use cut out strips of paper or card)

Now work out the answer to these statements.


3 green bits of paper are ______________ 2 red bits of paper.


2 green bits of paper are ______________ 5 red bits of paper.


4 green bits of paper are ______________ 8 red bits of paper.


Ordering Lengths

I want Tiny to measure and cut out strips of coloured paper. (I will help him with this). We will then write on the strips their length.

He is going to put them in order from smallest to largest and stick them in his book.


Next, I want him to look around the room and measure 5 things. He can draw or write what they are in his book and put the measurement down.

We will talk about smallest to largest.

Next he will number the objects in his book from 1 to 5. Smallest to largest.



How big are you?

Tiny just loves to measure how big he is. We are going to measure all the people in the house and write it down.

Then we are going to measure their feet.

Then, I'm going to ask him 'Do you think the taller you are the longer your feet are?'


Problem Solving


Bert has a piece of ribbon 10 cm long.

Jack has a piece of ribbon 18 cm long.

Claire has a piece of ribbon 16 cm long.


How much longer is Jack's ribbon that Bert's?

Jack and Claire put their pieces of ribbon together. How long are they altogether?

Bert cuts three more ribbons to the same length as the one he has. What is the length of all four pieces of ribbon?




Ted has a toy train and a toy plane.

The train is 28cm long.

The plane is 16 cm longer.

How long is the plane?




There are 3 teddies in a box.

The brown teddy is 15 cm taller than the yellow teddy.

The yellow teddy is 3 cm shorter than the pink teddy.

The pink teddy is 42 cm tall.

How tall are the brown and yellow teddies?


(This one is going to be more difficult. We will talk about finding the facts that are important first. In this case we know the height of the pink teddy, so we will start there).



I'm sure you will think of more things to do with measuring for this week. Remember to make it as much fun as possible.


Next week we will be looking at position and direction.

We do hope you can join us then.

Remember WHY PLAY? because play is learning and learning is fun.