Units and Measurements Jumble

Units and Measurements Jumble

Despite the fact that students learn about units of measurements in elementary school, I find that many still do not understand their importance. Units often get forgotten at the end of problems, and some students still haven't internalized the relationship between units and the quantities they measure (capacity, length, etc). When I came across it, I immediately felt that is would be an engaging way to tackle this issue. 

Why I like this problem: This problem gives students the opportunity to practice dealing with an overwhelming amount of information. With 132 different labels to organize, students are forced to find a method to keep things manageable. In addition, it is a great review of estimation, units and conversions. 

Observations from class: I combined the three versions of the activity to make it more challenging. Students worked in teams of 3-4. It was interesting to see how students naturally assigned themselves roles. This task created a lot of opportunity for discussion and students were engaged. Different groups used various techniques to organize themselves and the labels. 

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Follow-up questions I asked: 

1. How did you start organizing and matching the labels?
2. What criteria did you use to match categories with units?
3. Are there any categories that could have multiple answers? How are you accounting for these?
4. What is your reasoning for matching labels together?

Required skills / content: Units, conversions, estimation, research, organization.

Source: https://nrich.maths.org/

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