Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Experiments

My mom always called my oldest brother "the experiment." She said as new parents, you don't really know what you're doing and you have to make it up as you go. Much like science experiments, things may go awry and you have to adjust as you go.

Well, as we all know, Mom is always right! :) I have learned that my first class is my experiment. I have adjusted my teaching style, my classroom management, my classroom set-up throughout the year. I have added in pieces and thrown away things that I can't even believe I thought would work.

Metric System Experiment:

A few weeks ago, we worked on metric conversions. I thought it was going to be simple. All you do is move the decimal point, right? WRONG! Which way do I move the decimal point? How many places do you move it? Why am I moving the decimal point? My head was getting ready to explode!

I started by introducing the lovely King Henry. Students wrote the acronym in their notebooks vertically.  We drew arrows to help them move the decimal point correctly. Well, then I realized that the arrows were no help and we were making it up as we go.

Then, the Pinterest lords appeared. I found this idea:
save image

This helped the students realize the direction of the decimal point movement. They put their pencil on the starting unit and loop it until they find the ending unit. Then, they are able to loop their decimal point the same amount in the same direction. Problem Solved!

I began seeing students write KHDUDCM on their paper and looping. One successful experiment down. Many more to go!

What other tips and tricks do you have for working with the Metric System? Leave me a comment below!

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