Fill It Up Fill It Up


Grades K-2

What you'll need 
A measuring cup, 4 glasses of equal size, and water 

What to do

  1. Pour water at different levels ( 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup and 1 cup) in each glass. Put the glasses next to each other. Ask your child: Are all the water levels the same or different?
  2. Ask your child questions to encourage comparison, estimation, and thinking about measurement. Which glass has more water? Which has less? How many glasses of water do you estimate it will take to fill the container? Fill It Up
  3. Pour more water into one of the glasses to make it equal to the amount of water in another glass. Move the glasses around so that the glasses that have the same amount of water are not next to each other. Ask your child: Which glasses do you think have the same amount of water?  
  4. As your child begins to understand more, do activities using different-shaped containers that hold the same amount of a substance (water, rice, and popcorn kernels). This helps your child see comparisons, as well as the various capacities of different-sized and -shaped containers.  
Fill It Up
Parent Pointer
Filling empty containers provides opportunities to explore comparisons, measurement, volume, estimation, and geometry.

 


Fractured Fractions 

Grades K-3

What you'll need 
Clear container, masking tape, marker, measuring cups ( 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 cup measure), uncooked rice or popcorn kernels, and water Fractured Fractions

What to do

  1. Have your child stick a piece of masking tape straight up one side of the clear container from the bottom to the top. 
  2. For younger children, use a 1/2 cup measure. For older children, use a 1/3 or 1/4 cup measure. Choose the unit of measure and fill the measuring cup. Then let your child pour the substance from the measuring cup into the clear container. Continue to pour the same amount of the substance into the container. 
  3. As each equal amount of the substance is poured, mark the level on the container by drawing a line on the tape. Write the cup size or appropriate fraction on each line. The fraction for one-third cup would be 1/3.
  4. Follow this procedure until the container is full and the tape is marked in increments to the top of the container. 
  5. Fill the container again and again using different measures each time. Ask your child "thinking" questions.
    • How many whole cups do you think this container will hold? How many 1/2 cups, 1/3 cups, or 1/4 cups do you think the container will hold? 
    • How many 1/2 cups equal a cup? 
    • How many 1/4 cups equal 1/2 cup? A cup? 
    • How many 1/4 cups equal 3/4 cup? 
Parent Pointer
This hands-on activity explores whole numbers and fractions by using measurements your children can see. Your children also will learn to guess or estimate quantities.



In the News

Grades K-2

What you'll need 
Newspaper, scissors, pencil or crayon, glue, and graph paper 

What to do

  1. Newspaper numbers. Help your child look for numbers 1 to 100 in the newspaper. Cut the numbers out and glue them in numerical order onto a large piece of paper. For children who cannot count to 100 or recognize numbers that large, only collect up to the number they do know. Have your child say the numbers to you and practice counting up to that number. 

    Or

  2. Collect only numbers within a certain range, like the numbers between 20 and 30. Arrange the numbers on a chart, grouping all the numbers with 2s in them, all the numbers with 5s, and so on. In The News
  3. Counting book. Cut out pictures from the newspaper and use them to make a counting book. Page 1 will have one thing on it, page 2 will have 2 things that are alike, page 3 will have 3 things that are alike, and so on. All the things on the each page have to be the same. At the bottom of each page, write the number of items on the page and the word for the item. Have your child tell you a story about what is on the page. 
Parent Pointer
This newspaper activity helps children read and understand numbers and charts.

Treasure Hunt

Grades K-2 

What you'll need 
Large container, buttons, screws, bottle caps, old keys, anything else you can count, and graph paper (can be hand-drawn) 

What to do

  1. Find a container to hold the treasures. 
  2. Sort and classify the treasures. For example, do you have all the same-sized screws or keys? How are they alike? How are they different? 
  3. Use these treasures to tell addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division stories. For example, if we share 17 buttons among 3 friends, how many will we each get? Will there be some left over? Or if we have 3 shirts that need 6 buttons each, do we have enough buttons? 
  4. For older children, you can organize the treasures by one characteristic and lay them end to end. Compare and contrast the different amounts of that type of treasure. For example, there are 3 short screws, 7 long screws, and 11 medium screws. There are 4 more medium screws than long ones. Make a simple graph showing how many of each type of screw there are. This activity may also provide an opportunity to talk about fractions: 7/21 or 1/3 of the screws are long. 
Parent Pointer
Organizing the "treasures" in one's house provides practice in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Children can also graph data on shapes and sizes.