Measurement Unit-Grade 3

February 2009

Just a note: Many of these documents were created using Microsoft Office 2007. I have not always saved them in an earlier version, so some may have wonky formatting issues when you open them using an earlier version of Word....Sorry!

Unit Template Work:

Lesson Plans:

Official reflections have recently been added to most of these lessons as I have been editing.

Lesson #1: ⌘

Introduction to the concept of the need for standard units of measurement

Technology Uses: Excel to create spreadsheet of student data collected. Projector used to examine data as a group.
Document camera and projector used to explain data collection sheets. Microsoft Word used by teacher to create handout and data collection tables.
Possible addition of technology component would be to have advanced students work together using a digital camera to demonstrate and document good measurement techniques. They could then create a slide show, or print pic and make a poster showing good techniques. This could then be added to as the unit continues.

Lesson #2: ⌘

Reading strategies lesson used with a read aloud picture book discussing basic history, two main systems, units, and tools for linear measurement.

Technology Uses:
Document camera and projector used to read book aloud to class. This is to allow them a more visual experience with the book while they try to record their noticings of new information on sticky papers.

Lesson #3: ⌘

Exploration and comparison of two systems of measurement using linear units. Students have a chance to use meter sticks, rulers, and measuring tapes. They had to make choices between appropriate tools for different jobs while distinguishing between customary and metric units of measure. I totally ended up dropping out a whole "Lake Superior Bridge" problem solving/writing part of this lesson when I taught it. Day one showed me that the kids were not understanding basic measurement techniques and were confusing how they used their units. Instead, I made an Excel chart of their results from the first day and used it as a way to start a class discussion about measurement technique, choosing units, and labeling units. Then we practiced with some back-up worksheets I had found in my CT's stash and practiced our techniques instead of going for the big inquiry piece. My CT and I agreed it was more developmentally appropriate for this group, and I felt as though this decision helped my students sort through some confusion. I scanned the worksheets I used and have attached them as Word Docs below.


Technology Uses: Word to create data collection tables. Document camera used to demonstrate how to use data collection tables. Excel used to create spreadsheet of data collected. Google Earth used to show location of hypothetical bridge project between the US and Canada at Lake Superior.

Lesson #4: ⌘

This was actually a really fun lesson. We read a book about pen pals in US and Canada sharing measurement information. The concept of weight was introduced here as well as some very specific benchmarks for metric units. I used the class discussion to build a chart with beginning benchmarks, then had some more concrete benchmarks for them to pass around and handle for understanding the size of kilograms and grams. The students then worked in teams to find their own height and weight in metric units and were asked to compose a letter to the teacher. This is where I applied the "student sample" to model the letter I expected. I wrote the basic directions in a letter format to the students. The letters I got back that day were really great to read! I learned a lot about what they were thinking this way!


Technology Uses: Word to create all data collection chart, student sample letter, and rubric. Digital body scale for students to determine their weight in kilograms.
Our school principal does not encourage use of wiki's or e-mail projects, especially with student teachers. We also only have old, slow computers in our classroom, and not enough for whole class efficiency. For this reason, I did not include e-mail as option in the "Pen Pals" lesson. This would be a great place to add in technology for later use of this unit. With better equipment and a supportive principal, an E-pal component could supplement this lesson. If students could have a classroom to communicate with who used the metric system, they could communicate, share information, and teach each other about the system they use. For my current student teaching/work sample situation, having the students hand write their correspondences to the teacher was more appropriate.

Lesson #5: ⌘

This was the MOST fun lesson ever :-) I set up a "measurement lab" in the multipurpose room next to our classroom. The students put on their "scientists" caps and jackets, and we went in to conduct our investigations. I had 8 measurement stations set up with a variety scales, fun objects to weigh, station directions, and data collection sheets with different types of measurement problems to solve. We used a gong to signal when it was time to stop at a station, clean up, and prepare to move to the next station. This lesson was a two day lesson, and each student got a chance to work at 6 measurement stations. I got a little video footage of this one...but my CT isn't the best camera manager. She dropped the ball in parts of the direct instruction parts, but I've got some great footage of the kids weighing their little hearts out!

Measurement Lab in the Playcourt:

Technology Uses: Microsoft Word to create all data collection sheets, station directions, and set-up/answer table. Laminator to laminate all station direction sheets. A selection of food scales, balance scales, and triple beam scales for students to experiment hands-on with different tools to determine weight. Digital timer to clock rotations and keep class on schedule.

Lessons #6:

This lesson was an introduction to measuring liquid capacity. We started out reading a book called "Make Room for Ripley" which explored customary units of liquid measure. Then as a group, we worked together to transfer the exploration done in the book into a similar task using metric units of liquid capacity. Students made estimates of how much water they thought it would take to fill a fish bowl, then we tested to see who was closest. Students altered their estimates as we went along and demonstrated that they were making careful observations.

I used a chart in front of the class to document the process of adding different amounts of water into the bowl. Students were able to see clearly that a 50mL difference was not much, but adding 1 liter, or 1000mL made a significant difference. This lesson functioned as a very direct instruction, slow release model to help students understand what would be expected when they conducted their own investigations the following day.

Lesson #7:

This lesson was a follow up from the day before. We began by reviewing our chart from the previous day and the relationship of milliliters to liters. I introduced two buckets of containers that students had to choose from to conduct their investigations. We then reviewed the activity sheets on the document camera before beginning the water bath. This lesson was a GIANT mess, but it was fun and the students had fun practicing their pouring and measuring techniques. I had them diagram their explorations and this helped me see if they understood what they were doing, or if they were just dumping water from one place to another. I wish I had more materials. I thought I had enough, but I should have had twice as many. Third graders just are not good at sharing when they want to jump into something!

Technology Uses:
Word to create activity sheets. Document camera to review activity sheets with students.

Unit Support Docs:

Pre and Post Assessment

I wanted to create something that I could measure learning gains with straightforward data analysis. I also wanted to stick to a format for tests that was familiar to the students in this classroom. I tried to make parts of the test more accessible to some of my struggling students, but added parts that would challenge other students just a little. This is a simple multiple choice, connect the matching items, or circle the right answer test. I have other assessments built into the unit to measure deeper understanding along the way.

This part of the assessment was cut and pasted from worksheets in a curriculum book my CT suggested and some on-line resources.
I physically cut and pasted the pieces together, scanned the document I created, used my scan tools to erase, clean up lines, re-number problems, and add directions, etc.

Some of the questions for this part of the assessment came directly from the ODE web site, some were created to reflect the ODE skill check suggestions, and some were made up by me.

Data Analysis

Below you will find the excel workbook that contains the spreadsheet containing all pre/post test assessment data, as well as formative assessment data. For each student I calculated learning gains as well as an overall % based performance.

The next three pieces were written using the above data for my work sample.