Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Math is Real Life: Preparing a House for a Toddler

Jamie at Miss Math Dork  hosts a monthly "Math is Real Life" linky in which teachers share their real life experiences with math.  I am proud to be participating in the January link up.



The biggest news around our house lately is that our little man (Noah), who turns 11 months old on January 12th, is speed crawling and acting like he could learn to walk at any time.  What an exciting and crazy time!  What that means for us is that we need to baby proof our house ASAP because you can't have a toddler running around with free access to the stairs.

Here comes the math!  The first thing we had to do was use a measuring tape to measure the entryways that needed to be blocked off.  That part wasn't too hard.  We just made sure to measure EXACTLY from one side of the stairway to the other (no rounding to the nearest inch or 1/2 inch).


My hubby measuring the entryway.  It was 35 1/2 inches wide.

Next, we had to find a baby gate that fit the entryway without being to large or small.  Believe it or not, it's not that easy to find a baby gate that is exactly 35 1/2 inches wide.  So, we decided that we wanted to buy a gate that would expand to fit the entryway, called pressure mounted.

Target, here we come!  We shopped around a bit online and found that the one below.




We made sure to look at the details mentioned in the description just to make sure the width/length was wide enough.



The gate will extend to 38 inches, but we only need 35 1/2 inches, so we are good to go!

I have to admit, it took me awhile to fully understand how to properly use a ruler growing up once I was required to measure things to the 1/4 inch.  So, I came up with a visual to help my students understand how to measure to the nearest 1/2 or 1/4 inch.




It takes students step-by-step through the process of measuring an item by instructing them to:
~Find the nearest whole unit (inch)
~Find the nearest 1/2 inch
~Find the nearest 1/4 inch
~Determine if the object is closest to the nearest 1/4 or 1/2 inch
~There is a blank ruler and paperclip on the last slide so students can practice on their own

I still use this process in my head when I'm measuring!



You can pick up a copy of this visual by clicking here.

4 comments:

Lucy Ravitch said...

Great hands-on math! Then there might still be the drawer stoppers, the outlet covers, the bookshelf anchors, etc that all require some math and screwdriver rotation ; )
~Lucy
Kids Math Teacher

Kim H said...

Gotta love toddler proofing! My second is 9 months and pretty speedy. We have a very open concept house so he can get pretty much anywhere he wants! Everything needs to be moved up or out!
Kim
Teaching Math by Hart

Heather said...

Lucy: You are so right. The baby gate is just the tip of the iceberg! There's so much equipment and gadgets I never knew I needed!

Kim: God bless you! Toddlers make you rethink everything :)

Jamie Riggs said...

We don't have any kids, but needed to put up a baby gate when we had a puppy to allow for separation without anxiety.... putting those in is ALWAYS fun!!!Thanks so much for linking up with us!

Jamie aka MissMathDork!