Advancing Measurement Concepts
The resources in this professional development collection were assembled to help math specialists or math educators enhance their understanding of measurement concepts and practices via theory, research, and activities that can be adapted for classroom use. Students often have had difficulty in acquiring measuring skills and concepts. The article “Measuring Length” and the NCTM journal articles “Investigating Measurement Knowledge” and “Creating Numerical Scales for Measuring Tools” describe some of the conceptual pitfalls that students may have and suggest strategies to help overcome them.
Whether the topic is length, time, angle, area, or volume, the student attempting to measure or use measurements is faced with many issues at once – identifying or choosing the unit, deciding about precision requirements, and making mental calculations with decimals and fractions, to name a few. The Annenberg videos “What Does It Mean to Measure?” and “Measurement Fundamentals,” can help educators with ways to assess and address some of those issues.
Engaging Students with Measuring
The resource “Measuring Area 2.75” outlines a progression that enables teachers to scaffold their instruction so that students acquire a fundamental understanding of area concepts. The video “Table for 22” shows an engaging lesson that incorporates the standards of mathematical practice as students learn to distinguish between perimeter and area measurements. Two resources, an applet measuring volume of rectangular prisms called “Cubes” and a video “Measuring Volume by Displacement of Water,” provide ideas for teaching volume.
Providing Real-Life Experiences
The NCTM journal article “How Wedge You Teach the Unit-Angle Concept?” describes how to introduce a unit angle and develop a measuring instrument for angles. For “real-life” experiences in applying measuring skills, the collection has activities connecting math with architecture, trip-planning, map-making and other real world investigations, including several lessons and unit plans from NCTM Illuminations.