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metric conversions
Old 09-29-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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Help! I am teaching metric conversions to my students and they are having such a hard time. They do okay when going from a bigger unit (kilo) to a smaller unit (cm) because all they have to do is multiply by 10 or add a zero in front of the decimal. However, going from small to big is about to kill them. Any ideas of how to teach this?


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conversions
Old 09-30-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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I have my students memorize the units in order --millimeter,centimeter,decimeter ,meter,dekameter,hectameter,kil ometer
Then I have them write them: km hm dkm m dm cm mm
When they have these in their heads they can move from the units. Example: convert from cm to mm you move one place to the right
convert cm to km you move 5 places left
You will probably never use hm or dkm, but you need them in to have the correct number of places. I used this for the first time last year and it took the struggle out of it for the kids.

We practiced saying the order from right to left for a while until they had it kind of sing song like in their head. I would guarantee that this year when they have conversions they will pull this strategy from their memory to help. I hope I have described it well enough for it to be effective for you.
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Old 09-30-2007, 02:11 AM
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King Henry
Old 09-30-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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I teach my kids "King Henry Doesn't (SPACE) Drink Chocolate Milk"...Basically, I teach them to look at the measurement they are given and then at where they want to go. SO, if they want to go from 12.3 kilo to deca- then, they are counting 2 spaces right, and should move the decimal 2 spaces right. If they were going from 123.4 milli to hecta-, then they count the spaces, which would be 5 left , and should then move the decimal 5 left...if there's not enough numbers, they need to fill it in with zeros...I teach them that the space stands for the unit- meter,gram... It's very visual..and it seems to work...hope that helps!
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King Henry
Old 10-05-2007, 05:31 AM
 
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I use:

King Henry Died Monday Drinking Chocolate Milk
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What my Teacher Did
Old 06-09-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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My teacher told us to move the decimal place/ divide by 10. (Ex: With 21 mm, it looks like 21.0, so move the decimal place to the left/divide by 10 and get 2.10 cm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


I also do:
Krazy Hens Dance Mindlessly During Countless Movies
OR
King Phillip Doesn't Mind Drinking Chocolate Milk


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King Henry
Old 06-09-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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I also use the "King Henry Died Mysteriously drinking chocolate milk."
This strategy really works for them.
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answer
Old 09-13-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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I always used "kangaroos hop down under during certain months"!
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Teaching metric units
Old 12-22-2010, 05:53 AM
 
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Another option that can be used for all metric units, not just length is:
King Henry Died Belly-Up Drinking Chocolate Milk

Kilo, Hecto, Deca, Base-Unit, Deci, Centi, Milli
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