Table of Contents for #35 Metric Measuring:
Preparation and Support
Getting It Together -- Materials Sequencing Activities Building an Effective Science Teaching Strategy Diary of a Teacher Long Range Objectives Gaining a Whole Perspective
Activities and Lesson Notes
- 1. Metric Stairs (1)
- 2. Sweet Lengths
- 3. One Dimension
- 4. Squared Dimensions
- 5. Cubed Dimensions
- 6. Length ... Area ... Volume
- 7. Build A Straw Balance
- 8. Sweet Masses
- 9. Sweet Volumes
- 10. Sugar Cubes / Water Cubes
- 11. Metric Stairs (2)
- 12. Dry Measure
- 13. Gram Quarters
- 14. Gram Grids
- 15. Sugar Cube Graph
- 16. Liquid Measure
- 17. Granulated Density
- 18. Metric Straw
- 19. The Last Straw
- 20. Sink or Swim?
Complete Master List for #35 Metric Measuring:
Key: (1st/2nd/3rd) denote needed quantities: (1st) enough for 1 student doing all activities; (2nd) enough for 30 students working in 10 lab groups all self-paced; (3rd) enough for 30 students working in 10 lab groups, all doing the same lesson. Starred* items may be purchased below.
- 10/70/70: sheets of lined notebook paper, square corners preferred
- 1/10/10: pair of scissors
- * 1/2/2: boxes sugar cubes (not bricks) equivalent to 1 teaspoon
- * 1/10/10: rolls of cellophane tape
- * 1/1/1: box paper clips
- * 1/2/2: rolls adding machine tape
- 1/1/1: ball kite string
- 1/3/10: calculators
- 3/30/30: index cards, 3x5 inches
- 1/3/10: large grocery bags
- * 4/10/10: plastic soda straws
- * 5/50/50: straight pins
- * 1/30/30: wooden spring-action clothespins
- 2/35/40: soda cans with pull tabs attached
- 10/130/150: small styrofoam cups
- 10/100/250: U.S. pennies minted after 1982
- 2/10/20: each U.S. pennies minted before 1982, nickels, and quarters
- 3/12/30: U.S. dimes
- 1/1/1: handful uncooked long-grain rice
- 1/3/10: deep plastic tubes, dishwashing size
- 10/200/200: uniform sheets medium to heavy 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper, 20 pound bond or heavier. Scratch paper OK if one side is clean.
- 1/1/1: box table salt
- 1/1/1: box plastic sandwich bags, without zip-top
- 1/3/10: empty quart milk cartons
- 1/1/1: box granulated sugar
- 1/6/20: spoons
- 1/1/1: package corn meal
Adding Machine Tape
2-1/4 inch x 100 feet
Adding machine tape.
These are handy lab items to keep in stock. We use them as bulb holders, tongs, clips, and more.
size #1, steel, box of 100
Paper clips have 1001 uses in TOPS experiments, and science in general. Feel free to use paper clips you already have, but be aware that different brands come in different sizes and weights. In experiments where uniformity is important, don't mix brands.
steel, one and 1/16 inch long
Used in many TOPS experiments. Sometimes required for their magnetic properties. Don't purchase aluminum straight pins by mistake.
Straws - straight
Any length straw, between 0.20 and 0.25 inches in diameter is suitable. Grocery stores generally carry straws with flexible "elbows." You can use those if you cut off the bendable section before using.
126 cubes (not bricks), teaspoon-size
This is a specialty item for #35 Metric Measuring.
Tape - clear
3/4 inch x 1000 inch roll
Your standard desk tape with matte write-on surface.
Teaching Tips for #35 Metric Measuring:
We encourage improvisation - it's one of the main goals of our hands-on approach! You and your students might invent a simpler, sturdier or more accurate system; might ask a better question; might design a better extension. Hooray for ingenuity! When this occurs, we'd love to hear about it and share it with other educators. Please send ideas and photos to email@example.com.
National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996) for #35 Metric Measuring:
These 20 activity sheets promote excellence in science teaching by these NSES criteria:
Teachers of science...
A: ...plan an inquiry-based science program. (p. 30)
B: ...guide and facilitate learning. (p. 32)
C: ...engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. (p. 37)
D: ...design and manage learning environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources needed for learning science. (p. 43)
These 20 activity sheets contain fundamental content as defined by these NSES guidelines (p. 109).
Represent a central event or phenomenon in the natural world.
Represent a central scientific idea and organizing principle.
Have rich explanatory power.
Guide fruitful investigations.
Apply to situations and contexts common to everyday experiences.
Can be linked to meaningful learning experiences.
Are developmentally appropriate for students at the grade level specified.
Unifying Concepts and Processes
NSES Framework: Systems, order, and organization Evidence, models and explanation Constancy, change, and measurement
Core Concepts/Processes: Metric logic derives from a one centimeter cube of water that occupies a volume of one milliliter and has a mass of one gram.
Science as Inquiry (content standard A)
NSES Framework: Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations. Design and conduct a scientific investigation. Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. Think critically and logically to connect evidence and explanations. Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions. Communicate scientific procedures and explanations. Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
Core Inquiries: Measure length, mass and volume in meters, grams and liters, and their common decimal derivatives. Invent a measuring system based on sugar cubes, then derive standards of length, volume and mass.
Physical Science (content standard B)
NSES Framework: Properties of objects and materials
Core Content: Objects have properties of length, area, volume, mass and density that may be quantified and compared, based on standard and non-standard measuring systems.