Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DIY Transparent Ruler - Freebie Included!

Hi there, friends! Blair from One Lesson at a Time here. I've recently become obsessed with creating Interactive Notebook activities. Some might say, I've become addicted. And I might say they might be right.

Anywho, when I was creating my 3.MD.4 pack, which reviews measuring to the nearest 1/4 inch and making line plots, I had an idea. Wouldn't it be great if kids could have a transparent ruler that showed whole inches, half inches, and quarter inches? I know that measuring can be a tricky concept for many students, so being able to see the different lines and isolate each of them would be really helpful.

So, I created this page:

Black and White Version

Color Version
The idea is that the entire page would be printed on transparency paper and then cut apart and assembled to create a transparent, manipulative ruler.

I love the idea, but I know that many people just don't have access to transparency paper. My school supplies it, but I don't know that I could get away with using a page per student to create these rulers. And, unless you are teaching in the world's highest paying school, you do NOT want to have to buy that stuff on your own. HOT DIGGITY DOG, have you seen how much it costs?!?!

So anyway, I wanted to figure out another option for people who like the idea, but don't want to buy the transparency paper. So here we go....

I went to Staples and bought these 9 x 12 job ticket holders. They are nice and sturdy and come 10 to a pack for $7.99.

I cut off the edges of the job ticket. This way, each one can be used for 2 students. So one pack can produce 20 rulers. 

I took one of my transparent sheets and laid it on top of the ruler page, which I printed out on regular paper.

 Then, using a ruler and sharpies, I traced the outline of each of the rulers. Then I traced the whole inch, half inch, and quarter inch marks.

I traced the half inches in red and the quarter inches in blue to help them stand out a little more.

Next, I cut out my three ruler strips.

Then, I stacked them on top of one another and stapled them along the narrow side tabs.

Another way to do it is to trace ONLY the half inch and quarter inch ruler strips. You can staple these right on top of the whole inch ruler strip that is printed on white paper. This is great if you DON'T want to staple the ruler into your INB, but instead want to use it on its own.

On the top of this picture, you can see the ruler I made with the white paper background, and on the bottom you can see the ruler with 3 transparent strips. I should have put it on a non-black background so the bottom one didn't look so terrible, but hopefully you get the idea. :)

If you wanted to make a few of these for students to use in centers or small groups, you could easily make them on your own. But I also think that, with specific directions, students could handle the tracing and could each make their own. 

You can download the printable page {HERE} to try it out on your own. I included both the color and black and white versions. The rulers show true inches - so print them out "actual size". 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

Blog: One Lesson at a Time
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  1. Love this, Blair! I'm pinning this and may try to do the sixteenths. That is the ruler they are tested on. Thanks for sharing your idea with us :o)

  2. Love this, Blair! I'm pinning this and may try to do the sixteenths. That is the ruler they are tested on. Thanks for sharing your idea with us :o)

  3. Thanks for the great idea. Love the transparent...especially for those who are having a difficult time. I too will add sixteenths, but this is great!

  4. I love this idea. Thank you!


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