Measuring things happen every day, whether you are doing it consciously
or sub-consciously. Every time you pick up an object and think will
it fit in my book bag, will it fit me, or will I be able to fit it
in my looker - you are using measurement skills. When you hold up
shirt and think will this fit me, then you are using informal measurement
skills. It you use a ruler to measure an object to see if it will
fit in your book bag or locker, then you are using formal or customary
Measuring objects is skill that everyone takes for granted and does
not really think about. We unconsciously think about measuring things
all day long. When you put toothpaste on your toothbrush you are measuring
the correct amount so that it stays on the brush. When you put milk
in your cereal bowl, you measure the right amount of milk using visual
cues so that it does not overflow.
Many students have measured the exact number of steps from their
front door to the bus stop. This is probably due to looking forward
to another day of school. Of course you have probably measured the
length of your shoes to see exactly how far it is to the bus stop.
If your parents buy something new for your bedroom, the question
is will it fit. This can be accomplished by using a ruler (formal)
or stepping it off with using the feet (informal). However it is done,
measurement is happening.
Another example of measurement occurs in the home is when cooking.
If you plan to bake a cake you will need to measure out the exact
amount of ingredients, whether you are baking from scratch or out
of a box. This measurement typically requires formal measuring skills
with measuring spoons and cups. Sometimes cooking is accomplished
using informal measurements. For example, when you are cooking something
and you take a pinch of this or dash of that. Pinches and dashes are
When you are out skate boarding with friends you are always measuring
who has more hang time, who can stay on their skate board the longest
without falling off, who can slide down a hand rail the longest without
falling off, and more. These are examples of informal measurement
skills. If you actually use a stop watch or ruler, then you are using
formal measurement skills. I really doubt skate boarders carry stop
watches and rulers.
What about when you play basketball and play the game of horse? You
are using informal measuring skills as you pick a spot to shoot the
basketball at the basket. You are selecting a distance and mentally
measuring the force and arc needed to sink the basket. It feels really
good when you do it all right and get nothing but net.
Another example of using measuring skills is when you are
playing Xbox 360 or similar game and you need to complete the object
of the game. You have to mentally measure if your car will fit through
a tight spot, what angle you need to use to accomplish the next step
in the game, or measure the dimensions of what you are trying to construct
in the game. Using measuring skills in video games are common as you
attempt o accomplish what ever task you are working on.
When you go to the amusement park and play the football toss and
basketball toss games you are informally measuring the distance so
that you make the shot and win a prize. When you look at a roller
coaster you mentally measure the height and decide it you can handle
it or not.
Measuring skills are used everyday, in every activity that you are
involved in doing.