## Math Topics - Measurement & weights (US + metric)

cbollin

### Math Topics - Measurement & weights (US + metric)

Metric System
angelsoup wrote:We are in 2A and have hit the metric system (Day 36 TBp 52-54 WBp 67. Length: Measuring Length in Meters).

I need some kind of handy little cheat sheet. What did you do? Any and all suggestions welcome.
What kind of chart are you looking for? Something that converts metric to US measurements? something that shows how big a centimeter is compared to a meter? Or you're not sure enough yet to know what you need?

I know for a lot of the volume things, I just use a Pyrex Measuring cup since it has both US and metric.

I use a ruler that has mm and cm on one side and inches and fractions of inches on the other.

I don't have a meter stick. I just used our yard stick and added on 3 inches. I know.... it is not an exact conversion. But my kid is in 2A and we are not measuring for precision accuracy. Just trying to learn the units and about how big they are. And I did mention to my dd that there are 100 cm in 1 meter. That seemed to be all we needed for the lessons we are on.

Yesterday, we did day 37. Here's what I did. It was just too abstract for her to decide whether or not someone could be 4 cm or 4 meters taller than someone else (and similar problems). Pictures didn't help because it is not drawn to scale or drawn to real measurements. So, we went outside and did approximate measurements with our adapted yardstick and measuring string. I drew a line 4 cm long. And then we went running across the our yard to show that 4 meters is very long compared to 4 cm. (and don't even remind me about Mr. Wu being 165 meters tall.... we stopped counting) So... anyway.... it was a very active learning time for that concept. I'm still not sure she really got it just yet. But it was fun enough to do it again and the weather is beautiful.

-crystal
LizCT
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If you have a way to measure cm at all, perhaps you & your kids could measure out 100 cm. on a piece of paper & make a meter stick so that they can learn to measure the meters. Most rulers will have both inches and cm.

Since measuring inches and yards is covered later in the chapter, I think it would be confusing to have everything in the metric section converted to inches & yards, know what I mean? Or, I may have misunderstood your question....

Liz in CT
LizCT
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If you need a chart, there is one at

www dot sciencemadesimple dot com / conversions dot html

Liz
Julie in MN
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Liz,
That's a nice chart, thanks!

Debra,
I have a cheat sheet I think from a grocery store, one of those laminated ones.

My 6th grader hasn't memorized the metric levels, either. But he does love to work with them because base-10 is so easy!

Do you have the U.S. version of Singapore? If so, they will also cover U.S. measurement.

Julie
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angelsoup
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Thanks for your help!!! It is the US version.

I also use the pryrex measuring cups for volume.

It was the length that was confusing. I finally tried wikipedia and it gave me enough to complete today's lesson.

The chart is great.

Making the meter stick would fit so well with the hands-on approach of MFW - who has proven over and over that this helps the kids and ADULTS remember things better. Good ideas.

Blessings and Joy!
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shellie
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### Singapore & the metric system

lyntley wrote:I am wondering how everyone handles Singapore's weights and measurements. I was browsing ahead in 2A exercises 25-30 And wondered if you just go ahead and teach the metric system? They"re already familiar with our system and aware of metrics but estimating liters in that particular area will surely get blank looks on faces. Or maybe just mine?
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:01 am

I teach the metric too. If you bought the US editions of Singapore [which MFW sells], they will also include the American weights and measures for you to learn soon.
Julie in MN
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Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:43 pm

Lynnette,
I let my son use a "cheat sheet" on weights and measures, both American & metric. He has to do the calculations (which are easy), but doesn't necessarily have to memorize the names in order. Hopefully, he will absorb at least some of them in order.
Julie
Colleen
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Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:34 am

If your kids are familiar with 2 liter bottles of pop, maybe liters will even make a little sense.
Lucy
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Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:36 pm

This will continue to be revisited over and over again in Singapore as well. I think it is a good idea to move them toward thinking in metric too It is the language of many science and math related jobs and if you have a child who would ever be in the field of science(including medicine) or engineering it will be used lots since these fields use the internationally recognized measurement more often.

Just some thoughts. I like Julie's idea of a cheat sheet but personal as far as conversions go, metric is so much easier. My kids rarely forget a metric conversion at this point. It is the other they are more likely to forget.

Lucy
cbollin

### Teaching - Weights & measures (US + metric)

microcarter wrote:Last year in public school they went over measurement in math - ft, in, yards, cm, m, kg, g, etc. She didn't get it then, even when I, her dad and her grandparents worked with her. If you show her how big a cm is vs. a m and then you ask her if the height of a man would be 165 m or cm she will get the question right BUT if that same question is on a test she simply won't remember how big a cm is and will get it wrong. The same goes with feet vs. yards. She simply can't seem to remember that a foot is 12 inches and a yard is 36 inches or even really about how big an inch is except that it's small. I don't understand her struggle with the measurement issue.

So, should I spend even more time going over measurements with her before going on to 2B or should I just try to work measurement into our daily conversations? And, yes, she did fine on her daily work when we went over measurements but she could always look at the examples in the textbook to help her remember what the different measurements were. With the test she simply had to visualize each measurement instead of having something to refer to. She simply can't seem to do that. She doesn't have a sense of measurement and spatial relationships. I would love to know if anyone else has had issues with this. Thanks!
Buy a yard stick (meter stick too) and a ruler and go over it in real life. Let her use the ruler and stick. Most kids need the concrete at this stage. Just trying to visualize it is way too abstract. Give them the right tools to use to help them.

make a chart on your kitchen wall with everyone's height in your family. Show that no one is over 9 feet tall (or just over 2.5 meters) (or whatever the maximum height of your ceiling is of course). So, if the number is bigger than that and talking about a person's height, it can't be in meters, can it? But help your child talk out loud through that process. Don't expect them to just go through the thoughts on their own.

Measure distances around your living room and kitchen and write the results down in big numbers so you can see it all day long for a long time.

The hardest part is in helping the child go to the abstract lines in a book. There are times that a 2 inch bar means 2 inches and times it means something else. I let my kid play with zoom in and zoom out maps on the 'net to get a feel for that. And we keep at it. They will get more and more of this later in math in the years to come.

Let her have visual tools and charts in front of her. It's ok. In a classroom teachers have charts up all the time. When a kid is bored they can look at those charts even when the subject has changed.

My middle child (now age 9) struggled with the measurement concepts in 2A/2B last year, too.
-crystal
dhudson
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Agreeing with Crystal, I found that using real life was the best foundation. You might take a day or two before moving on to 2B just measuring things around the house. My kids like to measure outside on the sidewalk with chalk lines where you can compare feet and meters or cm versus inches.

I've never tested mine to see if they could move on. I figure that if they score well on the Review at the end of the book we move on. If they don't we review the concepts they missed until they get it.
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TriciaMR
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### Use body parts?

One thing I have done - get a ruler or tape measure and find a body part that is one inch long and one cm. Perhaps the distance between the end of the thumb and first knuckle is an inch? Perhaps the distance of the end of her pinky finger is a cm? You get the idea. Then, let her write that on her finger (1 inch, 1 cm) so she can compare a real object that is that long. Measure how long her arms are, legs are, etc, to get an idea what 1 foot vs. 3 feet (or 12 inches vs 36 inches) looks like.

I have no problem measuring stuff, but estimating how long, or tall something is, I'm no good at. I have to remember a door opening is about 7 feet tall (we actually have some 7 foot ceilings in our house), so a regular ceiling is eight feet.

When I read David and Goliath to my kids, I talk about how he would be taller than the ceiling. Now, when we read it, they always say, "That would be bigger than our ceiling, Mom!"

-Trish
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microcarter
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### Re: Use body parts?

TriciaMR wrote:I have no problem measuring stuff, but estimating how long, or tall something is, I'm no good at. I have to remember a door opening is about 7 feet tall (we actually have some 7 foot ceilings in our house), so a regular ceiling is eight feet.
This seems to be the problem that Sage has also. We've had her take a yardstick, ruler and tape measure around to do all the measuring and she does fine as long as she has something concrete in her hands. It's the estimating without a measuring device that she can't seem to grasp. I have tried to give her frames of reference (like the door) but it doesn't seem to work yet. We'll continue to work on it periodically but in the meantime we'll go on to 2B.

I'm so used to her getting grades in public school that I suppose I'm struggling with how to determine her progress this year. It's one of those things I need to learn to let go of. Sigh!
Angie

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Maybe you could find a measurement workbook (like the ones they have a Walmart) and just do a quick overview before going on to the next level. I think visualizing measurement comes more naturally for some people then others. I cannot visualize any measurements (I've often wondered if this is some sort of learning disability). I do the same as another poster - have references that I can compare things to like my own height and weight, the general height of a room or door. Come to think of it, if you just spent some time each day measuring and weighing things (like food you are cooking) she may get enough references to catch on.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
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cbollin

### I need ideas for Measurement in Singapore 2A using kg, g, lb

henryteachers wrote:I need some ideas for teaching the type of measurement used in Singapore 2A. It talks about the child holding a kg. in their hand and measuring g, lb., and oz. I don't have a scale and wondered if you have any other ideas about how I could teach this to my daughter.
Thank you!
For the purposes in Singapore 2, I just looked at measurements on boxes and bags in the kitchen cupboard.

We had a 5 pound bag of flour.
4 pounds of sugar
1 pound of coffee beans
I had a one and two pound bag of rice.
and some bags of dry beans too.

The cereal boxes in our house had both ounces and kilograms on them. That was good enough for the purpose on p. 64 of 2A text.

Depending on the size and material of a paperclip, you could have the child hold 1 or 2 paperclips to be a gram (don't get too nit picky on it of course. It is close enough for what they do on that page in the book.)

And then take a look on p. 68 of 2A text for some ideas of objects that weigh certain amount of grams.

For how an ounce feels in your hand, we winged it a bit. Depending on the weight of a penny and the year it was made, it can take about 9 or 11 pennies to make an ounce. So, for the purpose in 2A, we used 10 pennies in our hand to get a feel for an ounce. I didn't feel the need to have a calibrated scale for that exercise. It was close enough.

-crystal
donnagio
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I did about the same kind of thing last year, and it seemed to work. Donna
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### Additional ideas might be located on other boards

Additional ideas might be located on other boards:
Singapore 2A, Specific Lessons: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=6057
beaglemamma2008
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### Talk to me about Singapore math. Specifically metric sys

Mom2theteam wrote:Okay, my oldest is several years away from starting a math curriculum if we follow MFWK. I'm not really planning ahead, but I can't stop wondering about this. I see Singapore math is recommended and I've seen in other places that it is very good as well. However, my understanding is that it teaches the metric system only. Is that correct? I totally agree that metric makes more sense and that as a country, it would be easier if we used it. My main issue is that we, in the US, use the American System and it seems like the kids should learn it even if they learn the metric also.

Thanks for always answering my questions. I'm still trying to figure this all out.
Hi Heather! I have a 7yo dd who is currently in Singapore 2A. She just wrapped up some length & weight lessons a couple of weeks ago, and she did the metric system first, but she did do the standard system after that. With length, she was introduced to meters/centimeters/millimeters, then yards/feet/inches. Likewise with weight: first they covered grams/kilograms, then pounds/ounces.

I had similar reservations about the metric system: "We live in the U.S. Why learn what they do in another country?" But then I began to realize that it helps her see that the world is much bigger than the little niche we live in. Plus, I don't know what's in store for her future. Who knows where she'll end up and what she'll need to know?!

So yes, the standard system is covered. But even if it wasn't, she'd get plenty of exposure to it just from living in this country. But it's good for her to have exposure to metric because she may need it later in life.
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### Re: Talk to me about Singapore math. Specifically metric sys

I think there are a couple of other versions of Singapore math out there. I know there is a US edition and a California Standards edition. Then it was originally written in Singapore so I'm sure it's different as well and may only include the metric system. But the one that MFW carries does include both metric and standard.

HTH
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TriciaMR
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### Re: Talk to me about Singapore math. Specifically metric sys

We're up in 4B, and it's like that through the books. The metric system is a little easier to learn - it's all 10's based... 100 centimeters = 1 Meter; 1000 Meters = 1 Kilometer... etc. Makes it easy to convert back and forth between meters and kilometers. Same thing with liters and grams. Where as the US system... 12 inches = 1 foot; 3 feet = 1 yard; 5280 feet = 1 mile. (And I always have to think, so how many cups in a quart, and how many quarts in a gallon? Where as it's pretty easy to think in liters and milliliters.) So, I think it is easier to see the metric system and how it works before dealing with the US stuff. At least it seemed that my dd got the foot/yards stuff easier after we did centimeters/meters/kilometers.

It's good stuff...

-Trish
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momem3
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### Re: Talk to me about Singapore math. Specifically metric sys

Just to give you a different perspective...I was in a physics/engineering program for my undergraduate studies so I have studied metric and standard units in depth. I would rather do metric any day of the week...it is easier to convert, easier to understand, easier to conceptualize. If your child were to study certain sciences in college, this basis for metric would pay off greatly. I had no exposure to it prior to college and had a learning curve to catch up...which wasn't difficult since it is the easier system. It was actually much harder to convert back to the English system once I was in engineering. My brain became very accustomed to conversions based on 10.

I am currently finishing up my first year of K and 1st...the math is right on target for this age group...and this is coming from a momma with a strong math background. Get your child to enjoy math now, without overpowering it. You get them to enjoy it and learn a few basics in K and 1st, they will blossom into little math-beings later in life. This stage is all about the fun! I'm writing this as much to remind myself as to encourage you. On a side note, we have the game "Number Ninjas" and my 1st grader loves it. There is a beginner level and an expert level so we can be more evened out...but he beats me every time! He loves the days we play the game versus doing pages from the book.

Just my 2 cents, for what's it's worth. Good luck on your K endeavor!
Emily
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### More than just math facts...

klewfor3 wrote:We are coming to the end of our school year with my 5th grader and I am realizing that while he has his basic math facts memorized we are lacking on our "measurement" facts (ie: cm to m, in to ft, g to kg, ml to l...etc.).

When we were learning his basic math facts we got a lot of great suggestions for games, apps, and websites. Does anyone have something that worked for these measuring type facts? Flash cards and not well received in our household.

Thanks,
Kathy
Hi, Kathy,

This is overly simple, but what was most effective for us was a hands-on application (helping cook in the kitchen; helping measure wood; etc.); and repeating a few facts out loud together each day.

Thanks for posting this question. We have many very creative Moms on this board. i look forward to seeing their ideas, too.
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Julie in MN
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### Re: More than just math facts...

I'm not sure I ever put a focus on this, and I don't remember regretting that too much along the way

But to me, learning metric and learning American measurements are two different issues.

Metric is always a factor of 10, so the only thing to memorize is the "order" they go in when multiplying the tens, plus the base word for length (meter) and weight (gram). In everyday life, it seems like kilo- (x1000), centi- (100th), and milli- (1000th) are the ones I hear most often, but you could make a full list and try to memorize it in order.

An additional fact might be to generally understand their size in comparison to American measurements (e.g. a meter is closest to a yard, 1 mile is about 1.6 kilometers, 1 inch is about 2.5 centimeters; reference points for weight comparison are less commonly used but might include: 1 pound is a little more than 2 kg, and an ounce is about 28x bigger than a gram).

American measurements are harder to remember, so maybe flashcards and puzzles and games - typical memory work stuff? The practical activities Melissa mentioned can do it as well - there are some of those in Singapore and we liked to use water at our house to demonstrate (and make a mess )

Connecting American measurements with pictures in your mind might also help, kind of like what must happen in the brain when you put together a recipe often, e.g. when I hear "a pint," I might picture "a pint of whipping cream" in my mind. A quick google brings up this visual for measuring liquids http://www.studyzone.org/testprep/math4 ... city3l.cfm

Just chatting with ya!
Julie
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### Re: More than just math facts...

My eldest is in 8th grade and working through Algebra 1 right now. So far, there are just a few measurement facts that I think would be helpful to commit to memory.
• She has needed to know that there are 2.54 cm in an inch A LOT.
It's also nice to know how many feet in a mile, because that comes up occasionally.
Those are the two she's used the most, along with 12 in. in a foot, 3 ft. in a yard, etc.
I also want my kids to know the ones I tend to use in the kitchen quite a bit, such as 2 c. in a pint, 2 pints in a qt., 4 qts. in a gal.
Also, I often use the 3 tsp. in a Tbsp. conversion.
So, really, think of some of the facts you use in everyday life to have your kids to commit to memory, and a few that come up in upper level math quite a bit, and you'll be good to go.

As far as HOW to best memorize those facts...well, we just use lots of repetition in our household. I haven't really done a very good job of having my dds memorize these things, but I need to do better. Not sure about the best way to do it yet. However, I wouldn't sweat memorizing a whole bunch of these types of facts. Just focus on the ones you use the most.
Jen
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