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Students will learn the importance of accurate measurement both in customary and metric units.
This activity is a good cross-curricular investigation of Objectives 1 & 2 of Standard IV of the 5th grade mathematics Core Curriculum. It relies on two pieces of literature, Millions to Measure and Measuring Penny. Students will learn the importance of accurate measurement both in customary and metric units. They will gain an understanding of the relationship between units of measurement in the metric system. Students will be able to compare and contrast customary measure and metric.
2. Become mathematical problem solvers.
3. Reason mathematically.
4. Communicate mathematically.
Invitation to Learn
Have each student measure his/her foot and report their measurement on board. Read Millions to Measure. Journal the following question, Should the U.S. join the rest of the world and measure only in the metric system? Discuss the journal responses.
Students and their families can use Measuring Penny as a model for measuring one of their pets and comparing to other animals found around the home and/or neighborhoods. Use the Measuring Me 2 worksheet as an outline for this home activity.
Van Zoest, L. & Enyart, A. (1998). Discourse, of course: encouraging genuine mathematical conversations, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle Schools,4(3), 151-157.
Students should be encouraged to defend, question, and clarify their mathematical ideas. Discussion is one of the most important components to students gaining mathematical understanding. If they can express themselves orally, then journaling becomes easier. Teachers should listen carefully to the students ideas. The teachers role is to facilitate discussion, providing information, clarification, and modeling if needed. Students are to investigate, form conjectures, and determine mathematical evidence to be used in their discussions and journaling.
NCTM. (2000). Principles and Standards for school mathematics. (Online at http://standards.nctm.org/).
In learning measurement, students should be actively involved, drawing on familiar and accessible contexts, e.g., body parts. The first step is to understand measurable attributes of objects and the units of measurementboth customary and metric. Measurement is the bridge from number sense to geometry. Connection(s) must be made to realworld applications. Students should investigate a wide variety of applications.