Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Building a Liter - Section 4: Wrapping Up: "Aha!" Moments and Understanding


As this discovery lesson got going, I was afraid I had made the mistake of not setting tighter parameters on their work. The water was running, but contained in the lab sinks well. If I didn't have the lab, it may have been much messier and perhaps would be more of a reason to tighten up the parameters.

They clearly knew they were looking for the liter. The pouring of the water into the 1000 ml graduated cylinder clarified the connection of the units 1 L - 1000 ml eventually. Clarifying it again in the wrap up helped them connect what they had learned to real life. They see the pop bottles almost daily in their lives and the labels that measure them in liters or milliliters. Now it means something to them.

This satisfies and completes their understanding of comparative sizes of all the units within the metric system that applies to their real life. I didn't focus on units that we normally don't use and commonly don't see, but helped them understand with each of the lessons that they were there on the stair-step models as part of the "numberline" and part of the system. They learned clearly today that container shape and size make volume measurements deceiving. Their conceptual understanding is  better, but still needs continual exposure. The standard is not mastered yet. Even in our brief conversations about math, their understanding surfaces. Common Core reins in this deep conceptual understanding that I am not sure many American adults have about metrics!.

As each base unit was taught and discovered, I gradually allowed them to have more freedom to think about the base units and the size of the other commonly used units. I have watched their conceptual understanding deepen and unfold through these three lessons using flipbooks. They now have three booklets that cohere to the next lesson where they will write about their understanding.

  Discovery Based Learning
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Discovery Based Learning
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Building a Liter

Unit 2: Metric Measurement
Lesson 11 of 18

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate understanding of the relative size of a liter.

Big Idea: In this discovery based lesson, students determine the relative size of a liter and realize that containers can be deceiving!

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