Monday, November 24, 2014

Measuring Mania

A while back, Bill Nye came to the University I attended and gave a presentation.  One of the things that he said was that we don't measure enough in schools.  I would definitely have to agree.  When I taught 7th grade math, one of the projects we did when we learned about statistical measurement (mean, median, and mode) we did a project called, "Is Mrs. Malloy shorter than the average 7th grader?"  (The answer by the way is yes - I am only 4'11).  It was always a comment, so I turned it into a math project.  Anyway, when we started the measurement process, I was always amazed by how few of them could use a meter stick.

So, determined that my third graders will not have the same challenges, we began a little measurement this week.

We measured some common household items (post-its, dice, a sponge, and a small wooden block).

We measured the length, width, and height (using centimeters like scientists of course).  We also measured the mass in grams using a balance scale and some gram cubes.

We even recorded our data in our science notebooks.

Lots of mathematical discussion!

We were even able to discuss fractions and decimals as some students noticed their measurements had a half centimeter involved.  We talked about how just like in AR, .5 or five tenths is equal to 1/2. 

I just found this Bill Nye video with an introduction to the metric system that I will share with them today.

How do you practice measurement in the classroom?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I absolutely agree that we don't give students enough hands on experience. We teach measurement abstractly and wonder why they don't get it.
    Artistry of Education


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