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Measurement was RE: perspective for 5th grade, thinking or not taught?

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From: Kimberly Herbert (kherbert_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Feb 13 2003 - 16:46:07 PST


We don't hand a kindergartener or 1st grader a college level text and
expect them to read. I really like the idea of simplified rulers, and
I'm going to suggest it to the Math and science vertical planning
committees. As long as the rulers evolve each year, I don't see a
problem. I've just finished a measurement unit with my 5th graders and
they were pretty competent with measuring, converting (within customary
or within metric), and with problem solving. (WARNING: Major Sarcasm
ahead) (Shhhh don't let the administration hear this) They have even
memorized the volume formula even though it isn't in the TEKS or LINKS.

But the most exact measurements to the 16th of an inch(even though we
ONLY do to the 8th of an inch) has been not in math, but in our Thursday
projects. We are building bridges that must be 5 feet long minimum, 1
inch thick maximum, and wide enough to hold our social studies books.
When we are finished, we will pile the social studies books, on the
bridges until they break. Who ever holds the most books "wins" honors.
We've got to use the social studies books for something useful this year
since the state through the school board bought those "lovely" door
stops several years ago for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course
next year they will be spending even more money buying us some
additional lovely door stops. I'm going to buy a teachers set of the one
good textbook on the list. The school can't buy it because they don't
have a series for k-5, this book is about teaching US history with
higher level thinking with reenactments, debates, and other activities
not to mention the use of diagrams and drawings to process information
so that it makes sense! Sorry I'm still mad.

Sincerely,
Kimberly Herbert

-----Original Message-----
From: The Austin's [mailto:whest177@wheatstate.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2003 9:22 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: perspective for 5th grade, thinking or not taught?

Are you saying that a Kindergarten student should be able to use a
regular
ruler? We are using a simplified ruler with only 1" marks at this level
and
they are understanding the basics. Our second graders are using rulers
marked to 1 1/2" and they are truly understanding the concept of
measuring.
Many of my current middle school students did not understand the basics
of
the ruler when I taught them matting and I know they have all been
taught
this in their classroom. The current method of teaching them isn't
working.
Just like the discussion of perspective the concept of measuring is
difficult to many students. I wonder how many people on this list are
sitting in judgement of my school's use of simplifying rulers to help
students understand better. I will share our state test results when
they
come in - I know they will improve as we are already seeing results. If
your
methods are working please share what you are doing.
~Michal
K-12 Art Teacher
http://www.geocities.com/theartkids

>
> But the practice and learning can't be avoided and simplifying it will
> only slow the student from learning.
>
> > i'm wondering how effective the ruler strategy will be with
> > "simplifying" the marks.

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