Three Feet in a Yard

Before I invite you into my yard, I have a  funny story I must share. Our district is starting a program enabling the kids to sample fresh fruits and vegetables periodically at lunch. This week it was blackberries. When they made the announcement about it, I tried to get them excited about tasting them. It went a little something like this:

Me: Oh, blackberries are so good! Make sure you try some today at lunch (feeling like a total hypocrite because I can't remember actually eating one myself)

Kid: I've tried one before!

Me: Really, did you like it?

Kid: Yeah, it was alright, but then my dad got an iphone.

I totally cracked up, I couldn't help it. I asked him if he thought they were actually going to let them try out cell phones at lunch and he looked at me and said, "Well, what is it?" I guess this program is not such a bad idea after all.

Now on to a great math project to really reinforce the idea that there are three feet in a yard. I learned this at county training a couple of years ago and it made the entire week-long training worthwhile. It's a pretty simple project too, which is even better. First, a picture so you can see what the heck I'm talking about. Exciting details to follow:

Three feet in a yard, get it? First, students hot-dog fold an 18 inch sheet of green construction paper and cut it in half on the fold. Then I have to help tape them end to end to make one long "yard" that is 36 inches long. They can't overlap or it won't fit the feet. Then, the kids decorate the yard with some details that you'd have in a yard - grass, a cat, bugs (one had dog poop...for real. Oy, that's what I get for asking).

Students then trace three feet on black paper and glue a paper inchworm 12 inch ruler on each foot, glue them end to end in the yard and voila! An amazing visual reminder that there are three feet in a yard! Then we use these yardsticks to measure all kinds of things around the room.

This is one of my very favorite math projects. They really remember the concept after this lesson. I let them take the yardsticks home to measure things around their house and to use for the homework in the math book. You can click {HERE} for patterns for the foot and inch ruler if you want to make your own yards. Maybe next year I'll add a blackberry bush or some other fruit trees to make this a bit more thematic ;)



  1. Oh my gosh - "blackberry" that is a hoot. My kids do that at their school, they call it the "one club" {maybe it's the two bite - can'tremember}. I think it's such a neat idea. My oldest still won't touch a thing they bring in - even if there's a prize involved, but my youngest has tried SOOOOOO many cool, cool foods. LOVE!!!!

    Your three feet in "yard" is so dang cute too - what a great way to help them remember!!!!!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Fern!
      You are so welcome. I'm enjoying an amazing Spring Break view from our room in Sanibel right now. So nice to live in a state where you don't have to travel too far for some amazing little getaways!

  3. Hilarious! (love the math!!)
    We had Kiwi one day at weren't really a fan =) lol

    First Grade Blue SKies

  4. Funny story. Mental images are everything.
    I love the math sample.

  5. Love the "Blackberry" story!!!! Kids are hilarious!
    Also can't wait to try the "3 feet in a yard" idea. Thanks for sharing!

  6. So funny! I guess our kids really do live in an age of technology!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  7. That is so funny!!! I love the things they come out with sometimes, too cute! I think your three feet in a yard is totally brilliant :)

  8. What a great idea with the fruits and veggies...I wish we had that!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Let me try this again. I needed to edit.
    First, that blackberry story is hilarious! I read it to the hubs.
    Your math lesson looks so fun!
    And what is up with my site being blocked from your school's computers??!?!?!? How embarrassing!!!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

    1. I have no idea why you are blocked! I kept trying it because I couldn't believe it. If it makes you feel any better, it also happened once when I tried to get on the Home Shopping Network :/
      I guess you can by more than cubic zirconias there!

  11. The blackberry story is awesome! I love your blog!!!! The inch, foot, yard idea is super fabulous and thank you so much for sharing.


  12. OMG. That blackberry story is classic!


  13. Hahahaha! The blackberry is hilarious! And I love your inch, foot, yard - cute, cute.
    Buzzing with Ms. B

  14. The blackberry story is totally hilarious!! Haha I LOVE the three feet in a yard activity!! What a great idea! It's so hard for them to really visualize that, so I can't wait to use this activity to help with that! Though I'll watch where I step with it, haha! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Love love love the blackberry story. My husband got a kick out of it! Thanks for the freebie!
    Daisy Days for Learning

  16. I had a fabulous chuckle over the blackberry story, thanks for making my day...again. Love all your great resources. I look forward to all my e mail updates from you.

  17. The blackberry story is hilarious. That is an awesome idea to expose the kids to new stuff. I wish we did that. :D
    We had radishes out of our garden one year... most kids hadn't seen/tried them. When reading stories about short i, we come across "fig" a lot. Brought some of those in so the kids could see what they were and taste them. I get a kick out of watching them try new stuff.
    Dragonflies in First

  18. Love the blackberry story! Love your blog! Thanks for sharing all your amazing ideas. You always put a smile on my face:) Thank you for that too!

  19. The blackberry story was so funny! We are going to do the yard activity too. Thank you for sharing! We close out our measurement unit by reading Jim and the beanstalk and then groups of 4-5 measure out their own giants to hang in the hall. The kids love it!

  20. That is too funny about the blackberry!!! Kids can say the funniest stuff sometimes! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas! :)

  21. Love that story! Your measurement ideas are fantastic! I like the healthy food samples, too!

    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  22. This is great, I just found out I have to have a sub for 1/2 day and this is now my plan for Math, thank you so much. I have now used your activities two days in a row. Today we did your game on inch or foot the kiddos loved it I found it during my planning and quick put it together laminated cut like crazy, oh what a hit! Thanks! Love the BlackBerry story!

  23. I was wondering how to get the feet to actually be 12 inches....when I printed the sample, it was only 9. It could be user error since I did not print it on legal size paper!


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