Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Metric Measurement and Valentine's Day

This is an old post I wrote right after Valentine's day, but never posted. Not sure why. Either way, I think it's worth reading:

One of the things I love about middle school is that the kids are still 'little' enough to enjoy cutesy things. Even though they often drive me crazy, I really wanted to get my  kids Valentines this year. I ignored the day last year and felt like such a scrooge. So last night I went to Target and bought Fun Dip Valentine's, thinking I would pass them out to the students at the end of the period.

On the drive to school this morning (I commute an hour one-way) I got to thinking about how I would give out the candy without losing a bunch of class time. I couldn't just hand it out on the way out the door because Fun Dip is a time consuming candy, and I am sure the other teachers wouldn't appreciate me giving the kids candy and setting them free in the halls.

I didn't want to use my class time either, though. I really value my class time. I hardly let kids go to the bathroom etc. I always tell them "We don't miss math class, no matter what!" I try really hard to make sure every minute is well spent. I kept struggling to find a way to make the Fun Dip relevant and part of the instruction.

Here is what I did:

Today we learned Metric Measurement. Students learned to convert between metric measurements by counting jumps and moving decimals (we'll cover the multiply and dividing the rest of this week), using KING HENRY DIED BY DRINKING CHOCOLATE MILK. 

As an exit ticket, students were given their pack of fun dip. Students had to read the package and find it's mass (measured in grams). Then they converted that mass into 3 other units; kilograms, centigrams, and milligrams. When they were done, and had all 3 correct, they were allowed to spend the remaining few minutes eating their treat! The students loved it! They were so eager to try, worked hard for the correct answer, and celebrated in their success :) I was such a happy teacher!

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