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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Science Skills: The Metric System



Metrics:  Teach It and 
Re-teach It!

Why do we continue to have to re-teach the metric system to our students every year?  I wish I knew the answer to this question!!  Students are exposed to and taught the metric system beginning in elementary grades.  But for some reason that I have yet to determine, they still need a refresher on it when they reach my high school chemistry class.

Sure, the students know the basics of the metric system.  They know that length is measured in meters, mass is measured in grams and volume is measured in liters, but many of my students are still unsure as to how to convert one unit to another.  It is not unusual at all for one of my students to ask, "Which way do I move the decimal to convert ____ to _____?  Even more confusing is what to do with the units when determining area or volume.  How often have I heard, "Are these units squared or cubed?"

The manipulation of metric units must be reinforced at regular intervals, if for no other reason, than to just reinforce basic math skills.  Here's an example.  Multiple the following:  (5 g/ml) (10 mL).  The answer?  50 g.  Many students will struggle when units are being added, subtracted, multiplied or divided.

To sum this up, your science class will go much smoother and the students will learn much more, if you will take a class period near the beginning of the year to do a refresher on these basic metric skills.

Here are a few products that I have developed that might be of some help to you:

Metric System Jeopardy Review Game

Metric System Bundle of 12 products

Metric System PowerPoint




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