Table of Contents for #36 More Metrics:
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. Milli, Centi, Deci & More
- 2. Kilometer Rule
- 3. Metric Squares
- 4. Face-Up
- 5. Metric Rummy
- 6. The Last Digit
- 7. Certain and Uncertain
- 8. A Second Look
- 9. Dial A Measure
- 10. Agree / Disagree
- 11. Line Measure
- 12. Meter Measure
- 13. Body Measure
- 14. Build a Microbalance
- 15. Seeds and Such
- 16. Milligram Masses
- 17. Seed Graphs
- 18. Water Domes
- 19. Metric Drips
- 20. Consumer Science
Complete Master List for #36 More Metrics:
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.
- 1/30/30: sheets of lined notebook paper
- 1/20/30: scissors
- * 1/30/30: wooden spring-action clothespins
- * 1/1/1: roll masking tape
- * 1/1/1: box paper clips
- 1/30/30: soda pop cans
- * 1/10/10: rolls clear tape
- * 1/1/1: spool thread
- 2/50/60: pennies
- 2/50/60: index cards, 3x5 inch
- 1/1/1: piece of butcher paper for marking body measurements against a wall (optional)
- * 4/150/150: plastic soda straws
- * 2/60/60: straight pins
- 1/1/1: packages each of pinto beans, popcorn, lentils, long-grained white rice
- 1/20/30: staples
- 3/90/90: disposable cups, paper or styrofoam, 6 ounces or more
- 1/1/1: water source
- 1/4/10: teaspoons with approximate standard measuring capacity
- * 1/1/1: sheet aluminum foil
- 1/1/1: bottle plain uncoated aspirin, 5 grain tablets
- several: packages of candy, nuts, raisins or other treat with uniform small mass
regular strength, 20 square feet x 12 inches rolls
Buy aluminum foil here as a convenience item, or for less in many grocery stores.
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.
Tape - clear
3/4 inch x 1000 inch roll
Your standard desk tape with matte write-on surface.
Tape - masking
3/4 inch x 55 yd roll
A handy science supply used in most TOPS modules.
light duty, 25 yd spool
Just plain old thread. Used in many TOPS titles, especially in Pendulums #34.
Teaching Tips for #36 More Metrics:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996) for #36 More Metrics:
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: Reach easy familiarity with commonly used metric units - meters, grams and liters - plus six commonly used derivatives. Visualize how metric units would all fit together on a giant kilometer ruler.
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: Learn to measure accurately by recording all certain figures, plus one uncertain figure. Read scales independently and compare significant figures.
Physical Science (content standard B)
NSES Framework: Properties of objects and materials
Core Content: Objects have properties of length, area, volume, and mass that may be accurately measured but never exactly known.
Science and Technology (content standard E)
NSES Framework: Abilities of technological design Understanding about science and technology
Core Content: Construct a microbalance using a drinking straw. Cut paper squares to weigh small objects in micrograms.