measurement :vent - Mothering Forums

Old 03-23-2010, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter

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Grrr 2nd grade Measurement unit is driving me crazy!

Would you use a cup or tsp to measure salt in a salt shaker?
According to my school cups is the right answer, even tough I have never seen a salt shaker which would hold a full cup of salt, and the 2nd graders have not been introduced to the half-cup measurements.

Would a hula hoop weigh 4oz. or 1lbs. lbs is correct even though my assorted hula hoop collection weighs from 6-15oz, yes I weighed them

They give a picture of a Beta in a bowl asking would you use use Cups or Quarts. In the picture the fish is almost as big as the bowl, so my DD assumes that it is a picture of the little bowls that you get when you buy a Beta fish. If they wanted to show a quart sized bowl why would they not draw the fish to scale?

I could go on, but I won't ~Sigh~

Thanks for listening
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:05 PM

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Sounds like fluffy pseudo-math instead of real math. I hate that stuff and it undermines the learning of real concepts.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:13 PM

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That is just bizarre! And really, there's no right or wrong answers to questions like that. If I want to measure the salt in tsps, who says I can't? I also think they should be teaching the metric system vs quarts and pounds, etc, but that's another topic altogether!
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:24 PM

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We had a doozy: Do you measure the length of your pen in inches or cm?

Oil: cups or gallons? (?? DD wisely wanted to know what the oil was for, and was it cooking oil or "that step before gasoline" oil)
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:53 PM

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Geofizz We had a doozy: Do you measure the length of your pen in inches or cm? Oil: cups or gallons? (?? DD wisely wanted to know what the oil was for, and was it cooking oil or "that step before gasoline" oil)
Those are both particularily horrible examples!

I understand the concept of this unit in general, but only if they use things the kids can easily identify and are all one basic size! Honestly, enough kids at that age can barely answer the question, "Do you measure height in inches or ounces?"

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Old 03-23-2010, 07:25 PM

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by ssh Sounds like fluffy pseudo-math instead of real math. I hate that stuff and it undermines the learning of real concepts.
Actually, the concept of "which unit of measurement would be easiest to use?" is pretty pedagogically sound... it demonstrates a deeper understanding of units of measure and how/when to use them. Measuring the distance from here to the door in inches might be a fun activity to learn the mechanics of measuring, but it would ultimately be EASIER, in real life, to use feet. Helping students make the transition from just measuring (or using any skill, really) just to measure towards measuring for a useful purpose is important... and knowing which unit of measurement would be most helpful is a good step in the right direction.

That said, those are pretty AWFUL question item specimens. I'd have gotten all of them wrong, and I fancy myself a fairly "mathy" person . It's much more effective to give students an actual object. MUCH MUCH MUCH more effective... and it eliminates differences of interpretation.

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Old 03-23-2010, 08:17 PM

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It's definitely a good skill to have and brings in the idea of estimating. However I think it would teach more if it were stuff at home that could be done with a parent. Ex: estimate how many tsp. of salt are in your salt shaker. How many are really in the salt shaker?....that sort of thing.

Jenn
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:21 PM

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What a horrible unit and horrible examples, it's all relative, how big is the salt shaker, is it cooking oil or car oil. Someone didn't think those question through. And they never weighted a hoola hoop . On that I'd tell Dd, there are no wrong answers, just opinions. Hardly estimating the way they taught my boys estimating. I can see me getting all kinds of frustrated with Dd starting school soon.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:00 AM

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Schools teach kids to measure salt by the cupful? Bleah, never go to eat in a textbook author's house!

And they definitely should've used more standard things.

Like quarters: millimeters or cm?
Doorway height: feet or in? Doorway width? Doorway width when you need to carry furniture through it?
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:50 AM

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I agree that this doesn't seem to be a very well thought out lesson. I guess this is why it's important that even if your kids go to school outside the home, schooling can't just stop there.

In dd's (2nd grade) school they use the curricula from Spain and France for the two language tracks. That means she is learning how to count money in Euros and weights, volumes, measurements in metric. So at home we have to do it all over again in Imperial and dollars, which is fine. She needs to know both.

But when you have to undo the confusion a lesson has caused, that's just not right. They should at least use some common sense on these things.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:57 AM

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by blizzard_babe Actually, the concept of "which unit of measurement would be easiest to use?" is pretty pedagogically sound... it demonstrates a deeper understanding of units of measure and how/when to use them. Measuring the distance from here to the door in inches might be a fun activity to learn the mechanics of measuring, but it would ultimately be EASIER, in real life, to use feet. Helping students make the transition from just measuring (or using any skill, really) just to measure towards measuring for a useful purpose is important... and knowing which unit of measurement would be most helpful is a good step in the right direction.

I agree with this. I wouldn't object to the concept of the lesson, because it's an important skill. I think the actual examples cited ARE a little crazy though.

I am giggling a little at the image of trying to weigh a hula hoop. I keep picturing it balanced on one edge on the scale and rolling away....
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter

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 I am giggling a little at the image of trying to weigh a hula hoop. I keep picturing it balanced on one edge on the scale and rolling away....
My husband has a hanging Lbs/Oz scale he uses for work LOL

Our teacher was cool she gave my DD credit for the hula hoop and the salt shaker questions. Apparently I was not the only parent who who had a probelm with those questions.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:04 PM

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Can you go off of the unit and pull in your own material to teach them what they need to know? If not then I think you should help the children develop and use their reasoning skills to answer these questions. I don't think it is unreasonable to use a measuring cup of some sort to measure all of the salt in a salt shaker because it wouldn't all fit in a teaspoon. Teaspoons are for little amounts for cooking. I think the questions are designed to get kids thinking, but a lot of kids are used to just jotting down quick answers without analyzing the questions and using critical thinking skills so I can see how it would be a hard unit.
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