Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Measurement Mania - Metric Relationships - Section 2: Concept Development


Right before this lesson, I started second guessing myself about this lesson and whether or not this task would be too easy for my students. Knowing that my days with my students are quickly slipping away, I wan to ensure that each lesson is truly helping my student build conceptual understanding.  I quickly looked up various types of word problems from websites I trust like to gauge whether or not my students would be able to answer the questions without this lesson. I decided no, they wouldn't be able to, and I am sure glad I came to my senses! 

My students could probably use two days of this lesson because so many of them do not have an understanding of the size of centimeters, decimeter, and meters.  Over half of my class wasn't sure which side of a ruler showed centimeters when asked informally while waiting for lunch one day. While most of my students are not ELL (English as a second language)  I was reminded in this lesson how important having a solid understanding of what words mean is important in order for students to make sense of the math they're being asked to do. 

Using the manipulatives in this lesson was an excellent choice to allow my students time and the opportunity to discover the relationships between the three measurement units and connect this to their prior learning about fractions.  Students began saying thins like, "OH I get it."  This was exciting to hear and see.

 Before Common Core, I think a standard measurement lesson for many teachers would have entailed displaying a chart in which all conversions would be listed and students would copy this chart in hopes that they would then learn the material and be able to make conversions.  This simply won't work and my students are an excellent example of this.  Even when students had a meter stick that displayed the number 10, of 20 on it for the number of centimeters, most of my students still had to build the centimeters or decimeters in order to make sense of the number.  Many might think that students would see the number 2 and expect students to know that was 2 centimeters, however, they DON'T.  Students must EXPERIENCE it to own it.  I often think of a hot stove and little kids when I reflect back on lessons.  Little kids can be told over and over to not touch the hot stove. Parents and loved ones repeat things like, "Ouch, hot!"  "Don't touch."  But until a child actually touches the stove and then owns that experience for themselves, they can't begin to make sense of the situation.  I hope I can always remember to keep my students hands hot. 


  Two Thumbs Up for Building Conceptual Understanding
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Two Thumbs Up for Building Conceptual Understanding
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Measurement Mania - Metric Relationships

Unit 10: Measurment
Lesson 1 of 13

Objective: SWBAT explore the relationship between centimeters, decimeters, and meters.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students work with partners to determine the number of centimeters in one decimeter and one meter while discovering how to name these relationships as fractions and decimals.

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14 teachers like this lesson
Math, metric system, Measurement, Fractions, Decimals, centimeters, coherence, partner learning, meters, decimeters
  59 minutes
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