Centers for Reviewing Metrics!

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SWBAT work collaboratively to review for an upcoming assessment on metric measurement.

Big Idea

In partners, students review for their tests by completing some engaging center activities related to metric measurement.

Warm Up: Factor Pair Game

10 minutes

We started today's lesson by working on factor pairs in partners.  I keep a stack of number cards that have numbers 1-100  for various number sense activities. I make these cards in the beginning of the year and keep the stack handy for games and activities as we work on mastering the standard 4.OA.B.4 that requires students to list factor pairs for numbers 1-100.

I shuffled the deck and simply partnered students with a person in their desk group. Groups are in fours, so it is easy to do. I divided the cards among them and told them to put the pile face down. The number that comes up when they flip the card is the number they must list factor pairs for. The first person done must have their factor pairs checked by the second person using the online factor pair calculator on their iPads. If they are right, they get  a point. If they are wrong, the other person gets the point. If they finish at the same time and are correct, they both get a point. 

So for instance: They flip the card over to reveal 36. They both start listing factor pairs in their math journals by starting with






Each number must be tried if they do not know the factor pairs in this systematic way. If they find the commutative pair. i.e. 9x4 or a double ( as in this case), that is a clue they are done.

During the ten minutes we played this game, I heard arguments about whether they were done, whether or not a number was prime and arguments about having facts wrong. Someone listed 8x3 as 21 and swore it was correct. The other partner drew an array to prove them wrong! This shows them working on Math Practice Standard 3 as they construct arguments that support one another using reasoning and prior knowledge. I love it!

The one thing I have enjoyed about CCSS is the thinking and utilization of prior knowledge for arguing about number sense that I see surface daily! This game is great!

Centers: Choosing What is Needed

7 minutes

To get kids fired up about mastering the standards on their test tomorrow, I designed this engaging but simple center based review. In order to review the standards we had studied for this metric measurement unit, we discussed, as a whole group, each “ I can” standard that has been posted on my whiteboard in plain view the entire duration of the unit. I chose to focus on the standards that involved conversions, measuring with centimeters, and writing word problems in area and perimeter because the data from quizzes showed that these were weakest areas.


For example: I pointed to “I can choose the appropriate metric unit to measure an object. I can convert metric units from a larger unit to a smaller unit in a two column chart.” This gives students a clear understanding that we have come to the end of the unit and what they should have mastered by now.


I told them that I wanted them to look at their past quizzes they had saved in their math folder. I have them save mastered (80 % and above) quizzes for review in a folder. I also instructed them to reflect on what they thought they needed practice and to list the items based on the “I can” standard statements on the board. 


After five minutes, students were ready to be partnered up for collaborative work. I asked students to rove around the classroom and find someone that had the first task on their page that was the same. As this process went on, I monitored the choices and roved with them, assessing their notebook lists in order to get an idea of where students would be. In about 1 minute, students were ready to get going! It went fast. They were very prepared to partner up and I liked this method.

Center Time

30 minutes

Materials for Centers: Dice, metric rulers and a meter stick or two, various quadrilateral objects to measure in different units for area and perimeter. ( I used a small quilt, a domino, a text book, a greeting card, a small painting, a game board.) I placed the centers on the floor around the room allowing them plenty of room to work and space to be able to hear one another as they worked. Centers were labeled with the signs and instructions that are provided in the materials. I kept this very simple.

Conversion Cards for Centers

Centers Resources


Center 1: The measurement center. Students rolled the dice and added the digits to create a target measurement. This was just a fun way to come up with a measurement and exercise their judgement skills on what item would be that many centimeters. I kept the dice to 5 so that the largest number they could roll would be 30 cm. Measuring & Conversion

Center 2: This center was done on whiteboards and I used note cards spread on the floor. Sample of cards for centers They chose a card and then converted on the whiteboard using a T chart. They had to show me their equations as I stopped by to check. I saw things like : 64 cl converted to ml. Equation: 64 x 10 = ml. ml = 640 ml. I visited with my students here and could see they were utilizing conversion strategies as this student did. Converting with a Two Column Chart

Center 3: I had placed various quadrilateral objects on the floor.  Students measured and wrote word problems about area and perimeter using the object they chose. They sat on the floor with their notebooks, chose and object to measure using correct ruler then created a word problem using their object of choice. They were expected to write equations and solve their word problems, using the correct label. They were required to do one area problem and one perimeter problem.

Students in this center gravitated toward my quilt ignoring the other choices! They are always intrigued by it. To have it on the floor so they could touch it and look closely at it, seemed to be a real treat. Quilts are engaging to students at this age level. I try to use them as much as I can when teaching mathematics. I had not developed the charts in the resource file for this lesson, having them use their notebooks. I realized as I sat with this group, they needed something more. See my reflection for more my full explanation.

I was happy to see how quickly students could use the quilt to come up with accurate measurements using the meter sticks. Some began to dissect the 4" blocks and realized that the final measurement of the side was the same as 4 x 8 blocks. Their word problems were very concise and had asked directly what the area or perimeter was. Checking on word problemI was trying to guide this student to realize it was a two step word problem she had developed.  Writing perimeter problems. I continued with her by trying to get her to understand that she solved for the sides by using the total area and then needed to add the sides. This level of problem development for a fourth grader shows their development in conceptual understanding and thinking. Developing word problems from scratch but working in pairs is a great way to solidify key words, concepts while applying real life skills. It supports MP4.



10 minutes

To close today's review, I gathered students in a circle around the room. I asked them to share thoughts about growth in their weakest areas. One boy shared that using the quilt, he really could think about what perimeter meant and that writing a problem about perimeter helped him see that going around it is different than the whole space. From my understanding, what he was trying to say that having something smaller and right there to touch and think about made it clearer than just reading about  carpeting a room or measuring a dog pen. It connected.

The student I had helped with the equations shared that she realized she was missing a step in her equations when she had a decimal point to work with.

And so we shared stories like these to help us understand what we absorbed better today. Most students got through all the centers even though they didn't need to do all three. I told them that they needed to look through their notes  and examine their past quizzes.