Have you ever tried to build something out of wood? Well, if you have, then you know that having exact measurements can be the difference between building something that stands up and building something that collapses into a heap. People who work with wood use measurements all the time. It doesn’t matter if the person builds furniture or houses—exact measurements are always necessary. To measure exactly, you must understand how to figure out fractions of an inch.

#### Why It Matters

What if you wanted to build a doghouse? And what if the doghouse's dimsensions weren’t whole measurements? You would have to know how to measure a length to a part of an inch. Take a look.

You can see from the image above that an inch is divided into sections. When you make measurements in construction, you want to measure to the nearest fraction of an inch. Starting at the last whole inch, you can move along the ruler or measuring tape to figure out the exact portion of the next inch that you are measuring. Once you know how to measure exactly, you can take on any woodworking project—big or small!

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gut7i5ICxPY

#### Explore More

At the first link, explore measurement and fractions in a web activity. Then, watch as a doghouse is built in the following video. You’ll see how fractions are needed to accomplish this task!

http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?ID=L545

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDMRfa2GcNs