Even though young students in the preschool classroom can compare big and small or long and short, it isn't until the early elementary years that they are ready to tackle customary units of measurements. During and after the second grade year students are ready to begin using rulers, yard sticks and other tools to compare standard sizes. Hands-on activities help your students to learn about inches, yards and miles.

## Play Eye Spy

Asking students to suggest different ways to measure an object can help them to better understand customary lengths, according to the website Discover Education. Give your students a few different measuring tools, such as a yard stick, a tape measure and a ruler. Invite them to inspect, explore and experiment with the tools. They should look at the numbers and marks on the tools. Next, they can try out the items and make measurements of different objects around the classroom. When they start to connect the length and the quantity you can begin the "Eye Spy" game. Call out, "I spy with my little eye..." and finish the sentence with an object such as a desk, the white board or a book. Have the students estimate the length in the proper units. For example, your say, "I spy with my little eye a pencil." The students may say, "Six inches" or, "Half a foot." Ask the students to pick an appropriate tool and measure the object to check the estimate.

## Let Them Jump and Throw

Even though you don't typically allow your students to jump around the classroom or throw objects, doing so can make for a fun-filled length lesson. An in-class long jump can help grade school students to estimate and make measurements, according to the University of Houston's lesson plan "Measurement Teacher Activities." Turn these types of activities into a math Olympics. Set up different events, such as a long jump, baseball throw or bunny hop. If you can't create a clear, obstacle-free area in your classroom, go outside. Use a piece of masking tape to make a start line. Have each student jump, throw or hop from the line. Ask another student to mark the end point with a piece of yarn. The jumper or thrower must estimate how far she moved in inches, feet or yards. Have her make the actual measurement afterwards. Keep a score board, writing the estimates and measurements on poster paper. Award gold, silver and bronze medals for the top jumpers, throwers, hoppers, and for the students who got estimates that were closest to the real measurements.