Your kids will love learning about food-related world records so much that they won’t even realize they are practicing math!
This beginner set of task cards and printables is the perfect tool for building your students’ reasoning skills as they strengthen their understanding of the relationship between measurement units. No computation is required by these cards, making them the ideal way for students to practice with measurement units even if they are not yet fluent with multiplication by two-digit numbers. Includes reference sheet, assessment activities, and even material for differentiating for your high-flyers in need of extension!
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics addressed:
Measurement and Data (4.MD)
Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.
• Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. (4.MD.1)
• graphic reference sheet (full-color and grayscale)
• 32 task cards
• 2 answer sheets and keys
• two two-page activity sheets and scoring guides
The printables consist of a full-page graphic reference sheet and two different two-page activity sheets. The reference sheet identifies a variety of customary and metric units, grouped by type: distance, time, weight, and liquid capacity. The units are presented in equation form, with the larger unit first. Three robot “guides” share a few big ideas about measurement units, including the meaning of the prefixes “centi–“, “kilo-“ and “milli-“. Before you have your students complete the cards, you can have them glue the reference sheet in their journals. Your kids can use the journal insert as a guide while they work on the cards, as well as when they complete other tasks that relate to measurement units.
My own students can never get enough of reading about world records – the crazier and more outlandish the better –, so I knew my kids would love these task cards. The 32 task cards in this set each present students with a fact about a food-related world record, based on statistics from the World Record Academy. Each fact is followed by a cloze statement that uses a pair of measurement units (within the same system) to describe the given record. The students need to choose among two numbers or two measurement units (provided in a box) to correctly complete the statement. [Please check out the preview to see what the cards look like up close!]
The cards use a mix of metric and customary units for distance, weight, liquid capacity, and time. The units used are:
• yards, feet, and inches & kilometers, meters, and centimeters
• pounds and ounces & kilograms and grams
• gallons and quarts & kiloliters, liters, and milliliters
• minutes and seconds
These cards are intended as a beginner set, designed to help students to build an understanding of the relationship between units. Students do not need not be able to convert from one unit to another, but simply know which among a pair of related units is larger and which is smaller, and by extension, that a measurement done using a “large” units will involve a smaller number than the same measurement done using a “small” unit. For instance, one card may describe the world’s largest hot dog as weighing “_____ ounces (or _____ pounds)”, and then present students with the numbers 75 and 1,200, asking them to identify which number belongs in each blank. Since students do not need to do any calculations when working with the cards, some of the measurements involve simple fractions and decimals (i.e. 3 ½ feet equals 30 inches).
If your students have a firm grasp on the relationship between units, you can enrich those students (or extend the practice for all of your students at a later time) using the “extension” task card answer sheet. This sheet asks students to identify a multiplication equation that shows the relationship between the large unit and the smaller unit in each record fact. Students do not need to be able to compute the numbers, as the measurements are given on the cards, but need to know which factor (16, 12, 36, etc.) needs to be used to show the relationship between the large unit (yards, for instance) and the smaller unit (inches).
The two provided worksheets can be used to evaluate student understanding of the relationship among measurement units. The worksheets are formatted similarly, and have similar types of questions, though the numbers on each are different. Both activity sheets have students explain their thinking in writing, allowing you to see how well they can communicate their understanding of measurement.
You can use these activity pages in a variety of ways. You could give one as a pre-test, then teach your lesson and allow students to practice with the task cards, and then give the second worksheet as an independent post-test. You could also have the students work on the task cards, then complete one of the worksheet as guided practice with yourself, a partner, or a small group, and then give the second worksheet as an independent assessment. The worksheets could also be given as homework, center assignments, or any other purpose that fits your teaching style or classroom routines.
I hope your students enjoy these resources and are able to build their proficiency with measurement units. – Dennis McDonald