1. Teaching Ideas

Is it getting bigger? (updated)

21 November, 2019

How do we know our plants are growing?

  • Felix “Because we know it’s big. Because it’s green. Before it was black. Seeds were in the earth. Bigger.”
  • Michelle “Big and big and big. We water and sun” Michelle stretches has arms out and shows us how the plants have got taller.

But how do we know how big it has become? What can we use to measure this?

Felix “We need a measure band.”

What is that?

One child reaches for a number line to show us what a number line might look like.

That is very big!

  • Nina “We can use the paper and cut.”
  • Michelle “We can make it too long and put it. We do ‘0’ and ‘10’ here.”

Felix takes a marker and begins to write numbers on the whiteboard along the stem of the plant to show us how we might write the numbers down to measure the plants.

Michelle writes all the numbers zero to 10 on the board to show us how the tape can be used.

The students were invited to make their own number strips to measure the growth of their plants.

We gathered to talk about how we might create the number strips. The children made suggestions about the steps we should take.

We wrote and drew the steps we need to follow.

Then, we followed the instructions to create the ‘measure bands’.

Concepts: growth, change, measurement, number, impact, connection 

The ‘Measure Bands’ we created were made out of card. We were worried about the bands being exposed to water and getting wet in the rain. The children suggested wrapping them in a plastic sleeve. They worked together to solve that problem.


2 December,  2019

It was time to measure how tall or long our plants were. The children have been creating their own tool to check these measurements. They have named them ‘The Measure Bands’. While documenting their observations, the children used many literacy and numeracy concepts. They are learning that numbers can be used in many ways for different purposes in the real world, that numerals represent a specific quantity and that objects have attributes that can be measured using standard and non-standard units.

The children are exploring mark-making and know that it carries meaning, while using symbols and drawings to record their observations.

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)


  • Observe carefully.
  • Use discussion and play to generate new ideas and investigations.
  • Seek information.
  • Record observations—drawing
  • Analyse and interpret information.
  • Present information in a variety of modalities.
  • Listen actively and respectfully to others’ ideas and listen to information.
  • Ask for clarifications.
  • Interpret visual, audio and oral communication: recognizing and creating signs, interpreting and using symbols and sounds.
  • Express oneself using words and sentences.
  • Participate in conversations.
  • Understand symbols.
  • Understand that mark-making carries meaning.
  • Use mark-marking to convey meaning.
  • Document information and observations in a variety of ways.
  • Choose and complete tasks independently.
  • Follow the directions of others.
  • Share responsibility for decision-making.
  • Demonstrate persistence in tasks.
  • Use strategies to problem-solve.
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