Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Measuring Mass- Adding Decimals in Different Ways

We had some imaginative fun today as a lead in activity for our unit of mass exploring our central idea:

Converting units & using decimals helps us to make sense of the measurement of mass.

This isn't enquiry-based maths. It's a completely teacher directed activity, but the children really enjoyed it and it did help them revisit skills in using decimals as well as giving them a sense of the mass of every day objects so I thought I'd add it this blog.

Here was their scenario:

Objects they could take with them and their masses:

Somewhat worrying for this generation is the question of whether the rocket will have wifi! :P

It was an interesting question though so we did a quick google search of whether the International Space Station had wifi- it does!

But, would wifi work on a rocket travelling at enormously fast speeds through space?

Probably not we figured.

Student sample showing the three methods of adding their decimal masses:

They really enjoyed the challenge that if they went over 5 kilograms, they couldn't go on the journey.

We sat in a circle after and discussed what we thought of this activity:

° It helped me to understand that there are different ways to add decimals.

° I liked estimating on the number line to see if I was getting close to 5 kg as a strategy.

° I found it easier to add the decimal kilograms so that made me realise why we have decimals- they make adding easier for us sometimes.

Thankfully, when we passed our calculations to a partner to check using a calculator, no one had exceeded 5 kg so everyone was able to board their rocket voyage to space- albeit without wifi......