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Converting the Metric System and Using Conversion Factors

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Title (or focus) of the Lesson: Converting The Metric System and Using Conversion Factors



Grade Level(s):  _7th______   Time Required for Lesson Delivery: ___40 minutes_______


Objective(s):  The learner will measure using the metric system and convert within that system. Also, they will discuss the unit of measurement most appropriate for a given situation and why. 


Materials:   Inch rulers, Centimeter rulers, Millimeter rulers, pencil, calculator


Instructional Strategies: Teach to the Objectives (TTO)


Opener:  I will begin the lesson with a discussion about the metric system. I will have students list different systems of measurement that they know and have heard of, as well as where they would use these systems of measurement. Following the discussion about systems of measurement, I will introduce students to the book Millions to Measure by David Schwartz. This book discusses different things that can be measured, and uses a sense of humor and imagination to interest students in the material. After reading the book with the class, I will ask them to have a think-pair-share with the person next to them about why certain systems of measurement are used for some things while other systems of measurement are used for other things. Also, I would have students brainstorm if it would be possible to convert between different systems of measurement and how, if at all possible, would they do it?



Body:  after students come up with their own theories about how you would convert between the systems, I will discuss with them the activity planned for the day. The students will be broken into pairs and each pair will be given an inch ruler, a centimeter ruler and a millimeter ruler, and each student will be expected to have brought their calculator to class this day. Students will then be given a list of things in throughout the room that need to be measured. Each object measured will be measured 3 times: once with the inch ruler, once with the centimeter ruler and once with the millimeter ruler. They will record each measurement in the table on the worksheet provided. After all the measurements have been taken and each group is done, I will bring the class back together and we will discuss our findings, and I will have students come and write their findings in the table on the board. After this has been done I will have students complete another think pair share activity in which they will brainstorm with the person next to them about any relationships they may have noticed about the measurements. This will lead them into discovering the conversion factors of the metric system themselves. After the discovery has been made, students are expected to record their findings and essential ideas in their Quad Entry diaries.



Closing:  Since the activity planned for the day will be a very time consuming activity, the conclusion on the class will be brief. I will close the class with a student based conclusion in which I will ask students to tell me 4 things they learned about converting the metric system and using conversion factors. I will briefly discuss the homework assignment with the students to check for understanding of the directions. Then in the last 5 minutes of the class I will have students write an exit slip about the class that day in which they reflect on how the lesson went and make any suggestions they may have. This will be collected on their way out of class.





Tools for Assessment (and Evaluation, if applicable):  Students will be given a worksheet to complete in class and will be collected the next day in class to check for understanding of the material. Also, students will be given homework to practice converting the metric system and using conversion factors. Worksheets and class discussions will be used in combination with the quad-entry diary, think-pair-share, and exit slips to assess the students on their abilities to convert within the metric system, use conversion factors and their understanding of the material.



Assessment and Evaluation Formative assessment will be used to check for the students understanding of the material. The formative assessment methods used will be the think-pair-share, the class discussions, and the class worksheet. This information will be used to check the student’s skills at using the metric system (and using conversion factors) and check for their understanding of the essential questions and enduring understandings. Summative assessment will be used but sparingly throughout the unit to avoid discouraging students from the material. I want to make sure students understand the material before using much summative assessment. The summative assessment used will be the homework assignment (Ch 4-2 #’s 33,35,36 ; Ch 4-3 #’s 23,24,27,30). Homework will be collected the following class period and graded. The grading system for this homework assignment will be the same as with other homework assignments, on a scale of 0-5, according to the following scale:

0=Nothing completed or handed in

1=some completed but many are not correct, and little effort is expended

2=some completed and some are correct, but still shows little effort.

3=some completed and is correct, some effort is shown

4=most completed and correct, effort is shown

5=all are completed and most are correct, evidence of effort is shown.




Self-assessment/reflection:  I will look at the exit slips the students hand in at the end of the class period and check to see if students understand the material. Also I will read through the exit slips for comments on the lesson and the class discussions. When homework and class work sheets are handed in, I will check for problems students are having and see if there are any common problems throughout the class, and if there is, I will discuss with the class how I may be able to explain the information more precisely. Also, I will keep a record in a journal of the outcome of the lesson and how the lesson could be changed to reach optimal understanding. I will answer questions in the journal such as: how did the students understand the material? Were there any common problems among the students? Did students enjoy being able to find the conversions themselves? Should I use a different activity next time? Did students enjoy the activities as a whole and were they interested? Or did they seem bored and show little enthusiasm? What could I change for next time to reach optimal understanding?

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