Reflection: Intervention and Extension Measurement Conversion Practice - Section 1: Introduction/Review Prior Discoveries

 

When converting from a small unit to a large unit, you use division.

When converting from a large unit to a small unit, you use multiplication.

Students develop these as "rules" for converting by solving a series of problems and developing a pattern. One student expressed confusion about this rule.  

I was thinking the opposite way.  I was thinking that if I change a small unit into a larger unit, I am making the unit larger so I need to use multiplication.  And when you change a large unit to a smaller one, you are making that unit smaller so shouldn't that be division?

This student's confusion is important to note.  I am glad that he brought this to my attention. This question helps me realize that my language needs to me more precise when I'm teaching. The rule that we developed leads to confusion because the focus is on the units, not the number of units.

Precise language is critical for both teachers and students.  I revise my explaining: 

When converting a number of small units into a certain number of large units, you use division because you will need fewer of the large unit to make the same size. 

  I'm confused
  Intervention and Extension: I'm Confused
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Measurement Conversion Practice

Unit 7: Measurement
Lesson 3 of 3

Objective: SWBAT convert with in a system of measurement

Big Idea: After developing a theory about the correct operation to use when converting from large units to small units and small units to large units, students test this theory by solving problems with conventional units of measurement.

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