Sid the Science Kid is a children’s television show created by Jim Henson that airs on PBS Kids out of the U.S. It deals with a lot of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) topics, and helps children learn in fun and engaging ways.
In this video (Jim Henson, 2015) Sid and friends are learning about non-standard measurement. Sid’s teacher, Susie, introduces a problem to the children to engage their minds: how can we measure big things if our rulers are small? She then guides their thinking until one student, Gerald, comes up with a solution. Gerald becomes the class measuring tool, and they discover that the classroom is 14 Gerald’s long. Susie explains that this way of measuring is called non-standard measurement, and encourages the children to get up and try measuring around the classroom. After measuring around the classroom, each child writes about their experience in their math journal.
This video demonstrates a mixture of teaching methods all within the same lesson. A teacher-led activity in this video is the entire premise of the lesson; Susie is instructing the children and teaching them about what non-standard measurement is, and different measurement units you can use. A child-led activity seen in the video is Gerald and a friend using ‘Gerald’s’ to measure classroom furniture, such as the rug and the shelf. When Susie encouraged the children to explore the classroom, one student recorded her estimation of how many Gerald’s long the rug was, to which Gerald went and measured the rug (3 Gerald’s) and the nearby shelf (1 Gerald) with no prompting from Susie.
Gerald also demonstrates an awareness of non-standard measuring units when he realizes he is bigger than the ruler and begins to measure how many times he fits across the floor.
Jim Henson Company, The. (2015, February 12). Super Fab Lab! – Nonstandard Measurement – Sid The Science Kid [Video file]. Video posted to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aU0f6ajtJE