|"Bigger, Better, Best" by Stuart Murphy|
The book Bigger, Better, Best by Stuart Murphy is an absolute treasure for K and up. It's a great way to integrate math, reading and social studies. The book is about siblings who bicker over everything. When they move into a new house, they debate about whose room is bigger. Their parents provide them with papers so they can measure for themselves the windows and floors. This book is an excellent springboard for talking about area. The book is also funny and, to be quite honest, portrays children in a realistic manner. I read a review on Amazon that criticized the story because the children do not get along. Ok, let's be honest. Anyone out there who has siblings close in age can tell you that you love each other, but you don't get along perfectly. I also like this book for that reason. You can talk about how Jenny and Jeff are driving their younger sister, Jill, crazy.
We measured the windows in our classroom, as well as our blackboard, with paper squares. My kindergarten students were really excited about measuring everything in the classroom. I designed this sheet to use with Starburst candies so I could assess how the children were doing with this concept. I love using manipulatives. Also, because the Starbursts were wrapped, it was very hygienic and I let each child keep a few to eat after they did their problem-solving activities. You can also have the children estimate before they actually put the Starbursts down. I did have to remind my kindergarten students that it doesn't matter if their estimation is correct. I think sometimes they just have this innate desire to be right.
Area With Starbursts
I have searched for songs on this topic. The two that I found are "Boogie Woogie Measurement" and "Perimeter, Area, Volume" by Learning Math By Song. "Boogie Woogie Measurement" is very jazzy and is probably suited for 1st and 2nd grade more than K. "Perimeter, Area, Volume" is a clapping song and can be used for kindergarten but again is a little bit higher - maybe 1st or 2nd grade would be more appropriate.
If any of you have great ideas for area, I would absolutely love to hear about them!