Learn How to Read a Ruler or Improve Your Ruler Reading Skills

Several years ago my wife was interviewing for a customer service position. Part of the interview process included a ruler test to see how well she could measure their product. She hadn’t had a need to read a ruler since high school and didn’t do very well on the test. She asked me to help her learn to read a ruler better so I did. I explained the whole halves, quarters, eighths, and sixteenths thing to her, then I drew out some lines and had her measure them. After a few short lessons she really measured up! (Yes, the pun was intentional.)

During this process I thought that there had to be a better way, a more ‘automated’ way, to teach youself to read a ruler. So I took what I learned from teaching her and wrote The Ruler Game. The Ruler Game is written in JavaScript so it runs in your browser—nothing to download and install—just visit the page and start playing. You can also configure it to turn off the timer or to exclude smaller segments, like eighths and sixteenths, while you are learning quarters.

Although anyone can play it for free online, I do offer licenses for those that want to install it on their intranet or put it on the desktops of a classroom. I always enjoy getting emails from educators talking about how it has helped them. In one community college, they require their graphic arts students to achieve a certain score on The Ruler Game in order to get a passing grade. I have also had other teachers say that once they incorporated The Ruler Game into their teaching plan that every student aced their measuring test! Some construction businesses use it in training new employees. I love hearing that I’ve made a difference and it’s cool to think that I’ve taught thousands of people (of all ages) to read a ruler. Give it a try, let me know what you think, and be sure to forward the link on to anyone else that you thing might be interested in it.

The Ruler Game

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  • Reply
    6/11/2006 at 5:49 am

    Ridiculous. I am from continental Europe and I’ve never thought that reading ruler is something one has to learn and exercise. Decimal system rules. Miles, yards, feet, inches and parts of inches are strange!

  • Reply
    6/15/2006 at 5:58 pm

    TesTeq – I agree with you that the metric system is so much more simple. We learned it in school, but for some reason it’s never quite caught on over here. I think it’s because we’ve always been taught how to convert between English Standard and Metric and that was more of the focus than just on using the metric system by itself. Oh well, maybe one day we’ll be there.

    You would be surprised at the number of educators that have asked for a metric version of the game saying that their students really need it. I’ve been hesitant to develop it because of the very reason that you mention—I’ve never thought that reading a metric ruler is something that one would need to learn and practice.

  • Reply
    9/27/2007 at 9:08 am

    HEY RICKY! Thanks for putting up the website, the ruler game is a big help. it’s helping me a lot to measure stuff in woodshop! :)THANKS AGAIN!

  • Reply
    10/1/2007 at 5:34 pm

    Great site I use it with my 7th and 8th grade students for preassessment.

  • Reply
    1/10/2008 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for the great website!! Great tool to study up on!

  • Reply
    2/11/2008 at 4:51 pm

    Terrific! I was looking for something to help my adult education students. Perfect! How about you develop a similar one for the metric system (cm) since once students practice that using this style – wow, they’d really understand and retain both! Super job!

  • Reply
    10/14/2008 at 7:45 am

    I love The Ruler Game! My students wtih special needs have benefitted from the game and have made reading the ruler an easier concept for me to teach!

  • Reply
    9/25/2009 at 7:25 am

    thanks its helping me in my 9th grade class u got any other tips for me

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