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This activity will have students work with both customary and metric units of measurements and determine when it is best to use one over another.
Width, height, length and distances can be measured using two different measurement systems. The customary system is used in the United States. Students in the fourth grade need to be familiar with inches, feet, and yards. The metric system is a base ten system, and is used throughout the world. Students need to be familiar with millimeter, centimeter, and meter.
4. Communicate mathematically.
Invitation to Learn
Read How Big is a Foot? to your students. Discuss the book and why it is necessary to have measurement systems.
Weekly, pick a few items from your classroom and show your class. Have them choose what unit they would use to measure the item, then estimate its length.
Bryant, V.A. (1992). Improving Mathematics Achievement of At-Risk and Targeted Students in Grades 4-6 through the Use of Manipulatives. ERIC # ED355107. Retrieved December 10, 2005, from http://eric.ed.gov
This document presents a study designed to improve mathematics achievement of students in grades 4-6 through the use of manipulatives. The primary goal was to provide mathematics manipulatives that would assist in helping at-risk and targeted students. Results indicated improvement on test scores, report card grades, and use of mathematics manipulatives.
Reineke, J.W. (1993). Making Connections: Talking and learning in a fourth-grade class. Elementary Subjects Center, Series No. 89. ERIC # ED365537. Retrieved December 10, 2005, from http://eric.ed.gov
This report describes a fourth grade classroom where students thinking was made public through discussions in which students presented and justified their interpretations of, and solutions to, the problems presented in class. Results suggested that the teacher and her students learned to talk about mathematics in ways that made their thinking visible and indicated that they know mathematics in fresh, inventive ways.