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This activity allows students to explore the relationship among customary and/or metric units of measurement.
This activity allows students to explore the relationship among customary and/or metric units of measurement. There is a strong reading and writing component to the activity. Students will measure ordinary, readily available materials. They will then have to use their knowledge of conversion to answer any or all of the following questions in book form: How much? How many? or How far? Students should be encouraged to use examples of length, volume, weight, and area using both customary and metric units. The project should provide a valuable tool for determining the students understanding of measurable attributes as well as conversions to appropriate units of measure.
4. Communicate mathematically.
5. Make mathematical connections.
6. Represent mathematical situations.
Invitation to Learn
Materials should be distributed and ready for use. Have students brainstorm different tools of measurement and list them on the boardboth customary and metric. Read How Much is a Million? Ask the students to journal their thoughts on how much a million is.
Taylor, P.M., Simms, K., Kim, O. & Reys, R.E. (2001) Do your students measure up metrically? Teaching Children Mathematics. 7(5). 282-287.
Various attempts have been made to adopt the metric system in the United States. Thomas Jefferson was the first to introduce the concept. Today the U.S. is one of only three countries not using the metric system. The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showed that students in the U.S. are behind in their understanding and use of the metric system. Teachers are encouraged to use metrics in their curriculum to develop a broader sense of measurement.
Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. (2000). Reston, VA: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
In learning measurement, students should be actively involved, drawing on familiar and accessible contexts. The first step is to understand measurable attributes of objects and the units of measurementboth customary and metric. Connection(s) must be made to real-world applications. Students should investigate a wide variety of applications.