Yesterday I made a robot craft live on Facebook, and one of the little learning activities I did with it was to measure these robots with unifix cubes. There are so many benefits to using unifix cubes and other non-standard units of measurement in an early childhood classroom. Using blocks to teach measurement helps children to understand because it makes it concrete. Children can see and feel and click together the four blocks vs. the more abstract and more advanced use of standard measurement like the lines on a ruler. Using blocks helps them construct understanding while literally constructing the rod made from the blocks that they are using to measure the item. They are also working on counting and fine motor skills as they click those blocks together. This robot measurement math tray is a wonderful option for a math center or to send home to parents if you need to have a period of distance learning too – you don’t even need unifix cubes for it, you can use LEGO too.
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Math Tray for Preschool & Distance Learning
Gather your materials. You will need to print this sheet out here. Make sure you print it using “fit to printable area” if you want the robots to perfectly align with Unifix cubes. You will also need some unifix cubes, and a tray and dish if you’re going to be all fancy.
Place the sheet on the tray and the cubes in the dish. Invite a child to come and help you. Depending on the child, I will often say, ” Hey Owen, can you help me with this?” or “Molly, I have a challenge for you, want to see?” when I would like them to do a particular activity. In the classroom, I generally allow my students to self select their activities. Still, from time to time, I may suggest something to balance things out, assess ability, or most often because I genuinely think they will love it.
Measure! This activity is great for distance learning because it’s so accessible for parents. So many have expressed during this quarantine that they don’t know what to do. Simple short activities like this can empower parents and help them see that they can do this, and it doesn’t have to take up their whole day.
If I were sending this home to my students, I would suggest that after measuring the robots, families can explore and measure other things in their house. How many unifix cubes tall is their toothbrush? A box of cereal? Their shoe?
Also – I used Lego with this sheet as well. It works! So for families that might not have unifix cubes don’t fret, lego blocks work, it just takes more. Yay, more counting.
Another great thing to do after measuring these robots? Read about robots!
Books About Robots
Click the image or here for great picture books about robots!