Q&A #19535


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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 27, 2008 at 13:32:55
Subject: Re: Measurement

Dear Allie,

Thank you for writing to T2T. I'm not sure what grade level you're working
with, but certainly the issue you identify is a vital measurement concept.
With young children, using non-standard measurements (e.g. hands) helps them
to see how the chosen unit affects the answer (the desk might be 7 hands long
if the teacher measures it, but 12 hands long when they do, etc. With 2D
(area) measurement, an important concept is to get them to see that the unit
chosen needs to cover the surface they are trying to measure (which is why
"square units" works well, since they fit together, whereas using coins
wouldn't work well as there are too many spaces in what's being covered.
Extended to 3-D (volume/capacity), it becomes the notion of fill. We need to
select a unit (e.g. centimetre cubes) that will fill the container they are

Hope this helps,

 -Ralph, for the T2T service

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