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Teaching Tip: The Mystery of Reading a Ruler

sfsthI have begun to teach customary measurements of length to my students and as with every teacher we always want to assume that our students have been taught the necessary skills from the previous grade level. In 4th grade students are supposed to have been taught how to read a ruler to the nearest quarter inch. I quickly realized that they did not have a clue as to how to read a ruler where to begin reading the ruler. I began to wrack my brain to come up with an easy way to teach them how to read a ruler without spending too much time on the skill.

The anchor chart guides the student through identifying the each line on the ruler by counting the lines and then labeling each line as a fraction. For example, there are 16 lines on a ruler if the student counts to 8th line he/she has reached ½ of an inch. They know that this is ½ of inch because 8 is half of 16 so therefore the 8th line is ½ line. The 5 characteristics made it so much easier for my students to read a ruler and measure precisely.

2 thoughts on “Teaching Tip: The Mystery of Reading a Ruler”

  1. Excellent demo.
    I find one problem with this drawing.

    There should be 16 lines between 0 -1 inch then each will be 1/16 “.


    Harry Cadambi

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