Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Finding a Gram - Section 3: Counting Grains of Rice and Discovering a Gram


When I planned this lesson, I got out my gram weights. I could have just shown them the gram and kilogram and weighed that in front of them. But, I wanted them to have a solid connection to real world things that are a gram, and so I chose not to show them, but to have them discover what a gram was. I really felt this was necessary when one of my students thought a gram was the size of a kilometer!

As the lesson progressed and I filmed them, I could clearly see my planning and implementation of this lesson was solid. My plan for them to discover a gram through rice, I was afraid was off the wall! But, as I saw students put too much rice on the scale in some cases and quickly figure out which way they had to go to get a gram, I could see that it was practical and fun, and that the standard was being met.

I had purposely demonstrated more than a gram, yet some students didn't quite catch on to that during the lesson. It didn't matter! The freedom of discovering that 38 grains or so of rice is a gram allows them to figure out the relativity part that is needed to be mastered in the standard. This standard makes them acutely aware of size in comparison to something. It was so much better than just showing them what a gram is!

Then, when I insisted everyone weigh a paperclip, they weren't surprised that it weighed a gram, giving them a clear concept of an everyday thing they could refer to in their minds as a gram.

  Discovery Based Learning
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Discovery Based Learning
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Finding a Gram

Unit 2: Metric Measurement
Lesson 10 of 18

Objective: SWBAT recognize gram units as a method of measuring mass, and understand relative sizes and uses for the units.

Big Idea: Students create a gram and develop understanding of how to use a gram scale. They compare and understand the purpose behind the relative units and create a gram flipbook to help them recognize relative sizes.

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paper clip gram
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