Broken Rulers - measure to nearest 1/2 & 1/4 inch task cards/printables (set b)

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Challenge your students’ ability to the measure to the nearest half-inch and quarter-inch with these task cards designed to practice identifying the lengths of objects placed “off the zero” – lined up to a place other than the 0-inch mark on the ruler. The set includes 2 reference sheets, 32 task cards that progress in difficulty, and various response options: short answer, multiple choice, even construction of line plots. Extend your students’ practice (or assess their level of mastery) with the two included assessment activities. With these resources, your students will grow stronger in their understanding of foundational measurement concepts.

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Common Core State Standards for Mathematics addressed:
Measurement & Data (MD)
Represent and interpret data.
• Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units— whole numbers, halves, or quarters. (3.MD.4)
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Included:
• 2 graphic reference sheets
• 3 line plot templates
• 2 assessment activities
• answer key for all activities

NOTE: This set is a follow up to my Broken Rulers (Set A) task cards & printables set. That beginner set focuses on measuring to the nearest whole inch and half-inch. You can see the materials in that set here.

I designed this set to provide practice with measuring “off the zero” – meaning identifying the length of a given object when it is lined up with one of the lines on a ruler other than the zero line. I’m sure you’ve seen questions like these before on various standardized tests, such as MAP, and if you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve been frustrated to see students who you know are able to measure accurately with a ruler get stymied by these types of questions. I realized that some of my children needed practice identifying the lengths of items lined up against the mid-sections of rulers.

Each card in this set presents the students with the picture of an object alongside a section of a “broken ruler”. The students need to identify the length of the object either to the nearest inch or the nearest half-inch. The cards progress in difficulty:

Cards 1-8

• measuring items to the nearest half-inch
• ruler segments show whole, half-, and quarter-inch increments
• items’ lengths begin and end at whole or half-inch marks

Cards 9-16

• measuring items to the nearest half-inch
• ruler segments show whole, half-, and quarter-inch increments
• lengths begin and/or end at whole, half-, and quarter-inch marks

Cards 17-24

• measuring items to the nearest quarter-inch
• rulers show whole, half-, and quarter-inch increments
• items begin and/or end at whole and quarter-inch marks

Cards 25-32

• measuring items to the nearest quarter-inch
• ruler segments show whole, half-, and quarter-inch increments
• items begin and/or end at whole, half-, and quarter-inch marks

Please check out the preview to see all of the materials up close!

Practicing the Concept

The progressive nature of the cards allows for differentiating for the various needs in your math class. For instance, if you have students who are at a beginning level with measuring, they can work on cards 1-8 and 17-24, which have objects whose lengths all begin or end at a whole inch mark. Alternately, you might have your “beginners” work on cards 1-16, all of which require measuring to the nearest half-inch.

I have provided multiple options for students to respond to the cards, allowing further possibilities for differentiation. There are two different answer sheets: one designed for short answer response and a second that provides multiple choices. four answer choices for each card, and students have to select the correct length. You might have all of your students use the same answer sheet, or you can have some students use the short-answer sheet while others use the multiple-choice sheet.

Reinforcing the Concept

The printables include two graphic reference sheets. The first reference sheet focuses on measuring to the nearest half-inch and quarter-inch, illustrating key measurement concepts. The second reference sheet focuses on critiquing the reasoning of others, put in the context of a measurement situation. Both reference sheets feature a number of open-ended questions that you might use as the springboard for a group discussion and/or journal writing.

You might consider presenting the first reference sheet to your students on a given day, discussing the concepts on the reference sheet, and then have them practice measuring various classroom objects (such as staplers, tape dispensers, colored pencils, etc.) to the nearest half-inch and quarter-inch. The next day, use the second reference sheet to discuss strategies for “measuring off the zero”, have students use their journals to respond to the questions on the reference sheet, and then follow up by having your students complete some of the cards. As you give out the reference sheets, you can have your students glue them into their journals. Hopefully they can be useful guides for your students as they work on the cards and other measurement tasks.

Assessing Student Understanding

The two provided activity sheets can be used to evaluate student understanding of measuring to the nearest half-inch and quarter-inch. You can use these activity pages in a variety of ways. You could give them both as a pre-test, then teach your lesson and allow students to practice with the task cards, and then give them over again as a post-test. You could also have the students work on the first 16 task cards, then complete the first worksheet (since they both focus on measuring to the nearest half-inch), and then repeat the process with cards 17-32 and the second activity sheet. The worksheets could also be given as homework, center assignments, or any other purpose that fits your teaching style or classroom routines.

For more practice with measurement concepts, please check out the other related resources I have available –

Measuring Up – customary & metric length games, task cards, printables bundle

In and Around - area and perimeter task cards + printables (set A)

World Records: Filling Foods - measurement units task cards & printables (set a)

Trading Cups - liquid capacity conversion math game

I hope your students enjoy these resources and are able to build their proficiency with measuring. – Dennis McDonald
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25 pages
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\$3.50