Curriculum Archive: Activity One

Metric Measurement Conversions and Making Slime!

What's This All About?

An activity I designed for my Instructional Design class. This activity is about metric measurement conversions, a math standard for fourth graders in North Carolina. The big finale includes making and "product testing" some slime (or gak if you prefer)!

Artifact A

a. PowerPoint on Metric Conversions
b. Citation: Included on the last slide
c. Category: Pictures and Chart

The Slides

Artifact B

a. Slime (made of Liquid Glue, Liquid Starch, and Food Coloring)
b. Citation: Recipe found on http://www.pbs.org/parents/fun-and-games/activities-and-crafts/homemade-silly-putty/ by Lindsey. Supplies for making the slime available at Walmart and Kmart.
c. Category: Physical Artifacts

Three Ingredients for the Slime

Activity Description

Purpose/ Goals

Teacher will begin PowerPoint about metric measurement conversion that coincides with the information from the 4th grade NC math book, Real Math. The first few slides relate centimeters to meters, meters to kilometers, grams to kilograms, and milliliters to liters. As the teacher goes through these slides, she will ask questions about the relationship between the two types of measure. She will relate the measurements to real life, so that the students have a better framework of understanding. For example, just like there are 100 cents in a dollar, there are 100 centimeters in a meter. A kilometer is the distance from our building to the Hardee’s on the street corner. A gram is about 2 paper clips, so a kilogram is about 2,000 paper clips (which is roughly the same weight as the dictionary). 1,000 milliliters go into a liter, and the big blue bottle of starch that will be used later on in class is almost 2 liters.

The teacher will then go through a chart with the class that says how many centimeters are in a meter, etc. After that is completed, as a class they will go through a challenging word problem about the “Slime Factory.” Once that is completed, students will begin working on a worksheet containing a few simple conversions and another word problem, working with the other students at their table when confusion arises. As the rest of the class work, the student from one table will come to the back of the class and make slime using 20 ml of glue and 20 ml of starch along with a drop or two of their choice of food coloring. Everyone’s slime will set for at least 5 minutes, while the groups finish their work sheets. Once everyone is finished, everyone gets to “product test” their slime.

The goal of this activity is for students to gain an understanding of some basic metric measurement conversions. After the activity the students should know how many centimeters are in a meter, how many meters are in a kilometer, how many grams are in a kilogram, and how many milliliters are in a liter. The ultimate goal is for students to see challenges like the “Slime Factory” word problem, and be able to apply their knowledge of conversions to find an answer.

Method/ Learning Style

The learning theory that is the foundation of this activity is behaviorism. In behaviorism, the focus is on an observable change in performance as seen through stimulus and response. The stimulus in the situation is a conversion question, and the correct answer is the desired response. Direct instruction is a teaching method that correlates with the behaviorist ideals. This activity follows many of the steps for effectively using direct instruction developed by Dr. Kozloff in the textbook. This activity presents new material in a small unit, the “Slime Factory” question provides guided practice, and the work sheet provides seatwork for the students to work on. Continuing with a behaviorist philosophy for this unit of math would involve a lot of reviewing the material and taking assessments to ensure that students have made the correct connections regarding the conversions.

Student Product

For this activity, a student product would be the work sheet and the slime. The slime would be a product of the whole class’s collaboration, while the work sheet is a product of their own work.

Work Sheet

by: Caitlin Tharpe