Discuss about the Mathematical Investigations and Discussions.
When students become efficient in measuring lengths with the help of using non-standard units, they are prepared to use the standard units. When students use various non-standard units in order to measure the same length it provides them with the experience which in turn acts as a motivating factor for the students to move to the stage of using standard units. In the metric system, meter and centimeters are the two mentionable standard units of measurement (Nzmaths.co.nz, 2014). The fact that uniformity in the units would provide them with accurate and easier communication of length measurements can be appreciated by the students.
Introducing Centimeter First
In primary schools the usual progression of introducing standard units of measurement is to introduce centimeter first. The reason being the fact that centimeter as standard unit of measurement is small enough with the help of which common objects can be measured. There are some other reasons associated with introduction of the concept of centimeter first in the students. This aspect includes the feature of constructing centimeters with the help of cutting one-centimeter pieces of straws or papers which contributes in the establishment of the size of the unit of centimeters. Other than that the fact that most of the primary schools are provided with a supply of one centimeter cubes that helps in the measurement of objects also leads to the introduction of centimeter first in the class.
In the process of introduction of centimeters there are number of learning experiences that are associated with it. With the help of various experiences in the process of measurement of everyday objects an appreciation of the unit’s size can be formulated. In the process of introducing it the learning experience should consist of encouraging the students in the development of their own reference for centimeter like a fingertip (Tucker et al., 2006). The experience of introducing centimeter to the student the learning experience consist of providing them with the opportunities in order to estimate prior to measuring once the students become familiar with the centimeter’s size. Once the students have been introduced to the use of centimeter units in order to measure objects it can be followed by introducing them to the centimeter ruler. In the beginning of the process the students are required to build up their own ruler. As an instance, linked cubes that can be connected in order to form 10 centimeter rulers are present in some classrooms. In place of that, the students can also be provided with drinking straw’s pieces which can be threaded together. In the learning process of the experience is required to be enriched with specific instruction with the help of which they can determine accurate use of ruler in order to measure objects. Clarification is another aspect required to be provided in the learning experience of the students with the help of which zero’s correct alignment on the ruler with one end of the ruler requires explanation.
Language and Tools
In the communication process while introducing centimeter to the class language plays a vital role. It should include development of simple formulas with the help of the understanding of the aspect. In the process simply providing idea that a formula is applicable to all objects for that element will not be sufficient (Reys, 2006). The communication process and language should incorporate number of activities including the outdoor ones, like asking the students to draw an outline of their hand and measure the largest handspan. In this process the equipments and tools that can be used by the children are ice-cream containers, measuring spoons, cardboards, 1cm cubes, meter rulers etc.
Introducing Children to Meter First
It needs to be mentioned here, as centimeter as a standard unit of measurement is less in value than meter, students may face problem while measuring elements which are bigger in length. Along with it, with the concept of meter the children can easily grasp the concept of centimeter. This makes many education providers perceive that meter is required to be introduce first to the children. The reason behind this being the fact that once children can calculate the length of longer elements which can be performed with the help of the idea of meters they can easily measure elements with centimeters which is required to calculate elements which are smaller in lengths (Fuson et al., 2011). Thus faults in measurement will be limited with the increase in accuracy level.
It can be concluded by stating that, providing the perspective of standard units is a complex process. Hence while providing children which these concepts effective communication emphasizing upon the language and the use of specific tool is essential. By encouraging the children to participate in activities especially the outdoor ones, their idea can be made clear about standard units.
Fuson, K., Leedy, L., Johnson, D., Friedman, A., Tang, G., Wells, R., LoPresti, A., Roy, J., Herman, G., DeRubertis, B., Demi, Long, L. and Dussling, J. (2011). Math expressions. Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Nzmaths.co.nz. (2014). All About Me | nzmaths. [online] Available at: https://nzmaths.co.nz/resource/all-about-me [Accessed 3 Sep. 2016].
Reys, R. (2006). Helping children learn mathematics. 6th ed. New York: Wiley.
Tucker, B., Singleton, A. and Weaver, T. (2006). Teaching mathematics to all children. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.