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Non-Standard Units

Non-Standard Units

TEKS Objective

The students will measure organisms and objects and parts of organisms and objects, using non-standard units.

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Essential Understanding

The student uses age-appropriate tools and models to investigate the natural world.

Science Background

Measurement, Classroom Case Studies Grade K-2: The Annenberg Foundation (website) - In 1st grade, students are not learning about measurement using standard units. They are simply comparing objects (e.g., how heavy or light something is; which object is heavier or lighter than others). Students measure length, mass, capacity and volume with uniform non-standard units such as clothespins, paper clips, pennies, centimeter cubes, or unifix cubes. In 3rd grade, the metric system is introduced as the standard science measurement system.

Measurement, Classroom Case Studies Grade K-2
The Annenberg Foundation, www.learner.org

Signature Lesson

How Many Steps? Illuminations Resources for Teaching Math, NCTM (website) - Students measure distances using non-standard units and record their measurements in a bar graph.

How Many Steps?
Illuminations Resources for Teaching Math, NCTM, illuminations.nctm.org

Supporting Lessons

Estimation and Measurement: Science NetLinks (website) - Learn to use unconventional (non-standard) units to estimate and measure.

Estimation and Measurement
Science NetLinks, www.sciencenetlinks.com

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Measurement, Classroom Case Studies Grade K-2: The Annenberg Foundation (website) - Learn how to use non-standard units to measure objects.

Measurement, Classroom Case Studies Grade K-2
The Annenberg Foundation, www.learner.org

Assessment Ideas

The Difference Between Formative and Summative Assessments: eHow Family (website) - Assessment provides important feedback regarding student performance and mastery of concepts. Use these methods to inform your instruction.

The Difference Between Formative and Summative Assessments
by James Withers, eHow Family, www.ehow.com

Literature Connections

Super Sand Castle Saturday. Murphy, Stuart J. (ISBN 0-06-446720-1)

Measuring Penny. Leedy, Loreen. (ISBN 0805065725)

Measurement. Dowdy, Penny. (ISBN 0778743411)

Related Science TEKS

(1.2A) Ask Questions
The student is expected to ask questions about organisms, objects, and events observed in the natural world.

(1.2B) Plan and Conduct Descriptive Investigations
The student is expected to plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations such as ways objects move.

(1.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data and make observations using simple equipment such as hand lenses, primary balances, and non-standard measurement tools.

(1.2D) Record and Organize Data & Observations
The student is expected to record and organize data and observations using pictures, numbers, and words.

(1.2E) Communicate Observations
The student is expected to communicate observations with others about simple descriptive investigations.

(1.4A) Tools for Collecting Information
The student is expected to collect information using tools, including computers, hand lenses, primary balances, cups, bowls, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and timers; non-standard measuring items such as paper clips and clothespins; weather instruments such as demonstration thermometers and wind socks; and materials to support observations of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

Related Math TEKS

1.7F     The student is expected to compare and order two or more objects according to weight/mass (from heaviest to lightest).

1.9A    The student is expected to collect and sort data.

1.9B     The student is expected to use organized data to construct real object graphs, picture graphs, and bar-type graphs.

1.11C   The student is expected to select or develop an appropriate problem-solving plan or strategy including drawing a picture, looking for a pattern, systematic guessing and checking, or acting it out in order to solve a problem.

1.11D  The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

1.12A  The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

1.13A  The student is expected to justify his or her thinking using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

The Effective Detective: PBS Kids (website) - An interactive game in which students use properties to describe characters from the “Arthur” storybook series.

The Effective Detective
PBS Kids, pbskids.org

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