Last week, we figured out the decimeter measurement of the classroom, and the next day, we worked on matching metric measurements. I gave each group 21 cards (7 sets of 3). Each set of 3 had equivalent measurements, in meter, centimeter, and millimeter form, but the measurements were not labeled with their units. Students set up "Meter," "Centimeter," and "Millimeter," headings on their boards, and then had to determine which measurements to put in which categories, so that the measurements in each column would be equivalent.
For example, they had to place the cards 7, 700, 7,000 under meter, centimeter, and millimeter, respectively. (Example in picture.)
I used several similar numbers, so that the students couldn't just go by the initial digit to match the numbers:-) Most students did a good job with this, placing the numbers in the appropriate columns.
After I checked each group to be sure they were correct, I instructed students to add a decimeter column and write the equivalent decimeter measurements. Most students used the poster pictured here to be sure that they place their decimeter column correctly. I believe every group in every class had their decimeter measurements correct....they did a great job figuring this out together!
After having their decimeter measurements checked, students had to make observations of the numbers in each column....how did the numbers change as they moved from one column to another, what is the relationship between the numbers? These observations were written in their journals. Some observations were: "the numbers get bigger as the units get smaller," "every time you move right, you add a zero (except when there's a decimal)," "multiply by 10 every time you go to the right." The class observations got better later in the day (because those kids had science before math and had gotten some additional information!) Hopefully, getting this information in two different classes, in two different ways, will help the students to have a better grasp of the information than they have in the past (usually this info is just taught in science.)
The Metric Matching, which you can download above, has 2 different sets of 21 cards; I used the first page last week and used the second, more challenging page, today.