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Math & Science

Teaching the metric system

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 LauraAnn Joined: Jun 2009 Posts: 48 Junior Member
LauraAnn

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 48
Junior Member
Teaching the metric system
07-06-2009, 07:25 AM
 #1

I teach math for special ed middle school and need more hands on stuff. Has anyone ever taught the metric system so that it was wasy for the students to understand?

 teachn4kidz Joined: Jul 2009 Posts: 74 Junior Member
teachn4kidz

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 74
Junior Member

07-06-2009, 11:49 AM
 #2

I use this acronym to help my students remember the order of the abbreviations from larger to smaller.

kilo, hecto, deca, deci, centi, milli

Kids Have Dropped Dead Converting Measures or

King Henry Does Drink Chocolate Milk

I hope this helps.

Converting Measures
LSM = Larger to Smaller Multiply
SLD = Smaller to Larger Divide

 RESA24_99 Joined: Jun 2008 Posts: 394 Senior Member
RESA24_99

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 394
Senior Member
Decimal Dance
07-06-2009, 12:20 PM
 #3

King Henry Dance Magicly Lovley Gracefuly Down Center Main
(Base. I expand to include Meters, Liters and Grams.)
I have a Templete I have to find it and then I'll post it. I introduce this concept by making up some crazy dance and teaching it to the kids. I call it the "Decimal Dance"! The dance is never the same or very had seeing as how I can't dance myself! So whenever the students get stuck on a problem involing metric conversion, I just say "Decimal Dance". Then they say, "OH YEAH!"

Hello, I found it but changed it!
Attached Files
 Metric Con.doc (28.0 KB, 249 views)

Last edited by RESA24_99; 07-06-2009 at 12:39 PM..

 sassylteacher Joined: May 2009 Posts: 335 Full Member
sassylteacher

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 335
Full Member
Metric Conversions
07-07-2009, 05:29 PM
 #4

I use this:

King Henry Decided Boys Drink Chocolate Milk or

King Henry Died By Drinking Chocolate Milk

Kilo Hecto Deka Base Units Deci Centi Milli

Last edited by sassylteacher; 07-07-2009 at 05:32 PM.. Reason: I hit enter before I was finished.

 LauraAnn Joined: Jun 2009 Posts: 48 Junior Member
LauraAnn

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 48
Junior Member
Thanks!
07-09-2009, 07:45 AM
 #5

Thanks to all for your suggestions!

 sldfuhbailer Guest
sldfuhbailer

Guest
metric system
11-01-2010, 08:11 AM
 #6

we say ours like this:

Kids Hug Dad Grandpa Do Cows Moo
Loves
Me

 Swimmy13 Guest
Swimmy13

Guest
Acronym
06-09-2013, 09:20 PM
 #7

I made this acronym up when I was in Elementary: Kids Hate Detention Because (Base) Detention Calls Mom

 Alicia G Joined: Apr 2006 Posts: 4,058 Senior Member
Alicia G

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,058
Senior Member

06-10-2013, 02:09 AM
 #8

Great ideas for memorizing prefixes above so I won't add my 2 cents (we made up our own).

While prefixes are important, don't forget the rest of the metric system.

Start with about 20 drops of water. I have a set of tiny (a little smaller than a die) cubes that have one side missing. They each hold 1 milliliter (ml) of water which happens to be the same as 1 gram and the same as 1 cubic centimeter. If you have (or can get) similar cubes that hold 1 ml of water, it's a good hands-on visual.

One thing you can buy that are nice to use while teaching metric is:
http://www.enasco.com/product/SB28838M

It holds 1 liter of water and has graduated markings up the side. So it holds 1000 times what a tiny cube holds and you can actually picture those little cubes stacked up, 100 at a time, 10 high, in the cube.

Have your kids measure and estimate things. They are probably familiar with a 2 liter pop. They might want to get used to the masses of things. My scientific calculator is about 110 grams. A typical red brick is 2 kilograms. Remember that weight is not the same as mass. You'll teach mass first (grams is the SI unit) and only if you want to go deeper do you teach weight (newtons is the SI unit).

Have them learn distances. Put a dot on the paper and have them guess a dot that is 20 cm away. Then measure it with a ruler.

You can get a little pi lesson in too. Many kids can pretty easily estimate the distance across a circle (diameter) but few can estimate the distance around the same circle (circumference). Using round items (yogurt tub lids, coffee can lids, shapes you cut out), have kids guess how far it is around the circle. Then, they can wrap string or yard around the circle and then measure that string or yarn. Usually kids estimate low with circumference.

Have them see how tall they are. Guess first, then measure. And, know where a meter hits each child. Put a meter stick (a very nice one can be purchased on Amazon for about \$7) up near each child so he or she can see where a meter is (probably somewhere on the chest). You can teach children to put their arm up to a meter high.

Not sure if they are ready to do area (a sheet of printer paper is about 600 cm2) or volume (a Nature Valley granola bar box is about 1 liter, and that liter cube is, of course, a liter).

Learn temperature too. A cool room is about 20 degrees, a stuffy one 25 and 22 is pretty comfortable.

If your special ed kids are ready they can learn volumes of spheres and pyramids in metric or, more simply, the area of a circle. A pizza is about 100 cc. Oh, and it's always fun to estimate the mass of foods. An apple is about 200 grams, a banana about 170 grams.

That should keep you busy for a while.

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