Unit 1 learning overview

You can use this overview to inform your planning and help secure children's learning of the mathematics covered in the unit. It includes learning about the relationships between familiar units of measurement, recognising when and how different weighing scales are used, using the vocabulary associated with position, direction and movement, and reading and recording time to the nearest minute.

Children learn the relationships between familiar units of measurement. They learn that kilo means one thousand to help them remember that there are 1000 grams in 1 kilogram and 1000 metres in 1 kilometre. They respond to questions such as: 'A bag of flour weighs 2 kg. How many grams is this?' They suggest suitable units to measure length, weight and capacity; for example, they suggest a metric unit to measure the length of their book, the weight of a baby, the capacity of a mug. They suggest things that you would measure in kilometres, metres, litres, kilograms, etc.

A test diagram for the conversion of units of measurement. The units for conversion can be chosen from the tabs on the diagram

Practical activities help children to increase their accuracy of measurement and estimation. For example, they take a bag of counters and estimate what they think is half, putting these into another bag. They then weigh both bags to see how close they were. They calculate the difference, in grams. When weighing, they choose appropriate instruments, recognising that different weighing scales are used to weigh different objects. They look at the numbering on scales and the number of intervals between the numbers. They calculate the value of each interval and learn to count on from the last numbered interval in order to take a reading. They gain extra practice using the ITP 'Measuring scales'.

A screen shot from the ITP 'Measuring scales'

Children continue to add and subtract mentally pairs of two-digit whole numbers. They use their mental skills to solve problems such as:

  • 'Two shelves are 75 cm and 87 cm long. What is their total length? What is the difference between their lengths?'
  • 'I need to weigh 150 g of flour. So far I've poured in 68 g. How much more do I need to add?'

Children use the vocabulary associated with position, direction and movement. They recognise when lines are horizontal and vertical and identify simple examples in the environment, for example that the edge of the table is horizontal.

A table with letters A - F across the bottom and 1 - 6 along the left, B4, C4, C5, D4, D5 and E4 are shaded

They know that rows on a grid are described as horizontal and columns as vertical, and can describe the position of a square on a grid with the rows and columns labelled. Using a grid they shade in some squares to make a shape with a given number of sides, e.g. an octagon.

They sit back to back with a partner and use the labels of the rows and columns to describe the position of the squares they have shaded. Their partner listens to the speaker, making notes on their own grid to replicate the shape.

Children revise the relationship between hours, minutes and seconds. They read the time to the nearest minute on a 12-hour digital clock and on an analogue clock. They practise making number pairs with a total of 60 and then discuss, for example, that 4.37, or 37 minutes past 4 and 23 minutes to 5 are equivalent. They record time using am or pm notation. They recognise what they might typically be doing at certain times and can make a time line to show their day.

A number line with markers below for 1.35, 2.00 and 2.15 with the time differences between these times worked out above

They use counting strategies and a number line or time line to work out time differences, remembering there are 60 minutes in an hour when they bridge over the hour. For example, they solve problems such as: 'The cake went in the oven at 1.35. It cooked for 40 minutes. What time did it come out?' by calculating that it is 25 minutes until 2.00; this leaves another 15 minutes, so the cake would come out at 2.15.

Children also find information in timetables and calculate time intervals. For example, they use a TV guide to find out when programmes begin and end and work out how long different programmes last.