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How long are we?

By Wendy Leitner-Sieber

A recent activity in math, measuring the heights of everyone in the fourth grade, had the children wondering how long the whole class would be, if they laid down head-to-toe. This question led us to add up the heights in inches, feet, and then meters, but also to try to visually estimate how the length of the group altogether would compare to some spaces around campus. Would we stretch all the way down the driveway outside our class? If not, how far? How about across Miquon’s woodchip field? The lower field? We recorded our guesses, and then students went around to various staff and students to ask for their guesses as well. We created graphs from our informal campus survey:

Class length graphing

And then on a sunny day we headed out to test it out. Here we are stretched across campus…

Class length - drivewayClass length - woodchip fieldClass length 2

Since we discovered that our “wing span” is just inches less than our total height, we used this to allow us to stretch out arms to arm when the snowy field was turning to mud. Overall, we found that our combined length of about 95 feet, or about 29 meters, didn’t stretch as far as we guessed it would! We now have a pretty good visual sense of what 100 feet looks like though, and it was great to see our math activities come to life this way.



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