Before sticking our rainbows in the window, we have decided to use them for a range of Maths activities. First up was measuring the diameter, the straight line along the bottom of the rainbow.


Some of our rainbow art:

Measuring tools:


Ioan and Finn started off sorting the rainbows by size, from smallest to largest. If the rainbows looked like they were a similar size, they compared the bottom of them to decided which was biggest.

Ioan explained how to measure the diameter of the rainbow:

Finn had a go at measuring his footprint rainbow by himself. He had the right idea, he stretched the tape measure along the diameter of the rainbow then wrote down the number that the rainbow reached up to. He wrote down a 45.

Ioan came over to check his work and give him some feedback: “Well done Finny, you nearly had it, but there are two things to change. You have to make sure the start of your tape measure is lined up with the start of the rainbow, not the start of the paper. The other thing is that you have to check you read the right units, we are measuring this side of the tape measure which is centimetres or cm.” Finn had recorded the 45 inches.

Ioan offered to help him with the two largest rainbows because it was tricky to hold the start of the tape measure in place and unwind it at the same time.

Then they got to work measuring and recording their own art work independently, starting with their paint stick rainbows. Ioan reminded Finn that the ruler was slightly different to the tape measure and that he needed to line up the ‘0’ with the start of the rainbow. This time Finn was confident with his measuring.

They recorded all their measurements, ready to use next week.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 1 programme of study

Number – measurements

  • compare, describe and solve practical problems for lengths and heights [for example, long/short, longer/shorter, tall/short, double/half]
  • measure and begin to record lengths and heights

Pupils move from using and comparing different types of quantities and measures using non-standard units, including discrete (for example, counting) measurement, to using manageable common standard units. In order to become familiar with standard measures, pupils begin to use measuring tools such as a ruler.