Friday, 22 April 2016

Visualising Cubic Metres

When it comes to exploring volume or capacity, it is vital that children are given as many opportunities as possible to visualise what cubic centimetres or metres actually look like. 

After building our cubic metre yesterday ( Investigating Cubic Metres), we looked at and as class came up with 5 facts we know about it.

This raised some interesting misconceptions we have and these (as we stated each time one came up) helped us to deepen our understanding of volume and cubic metres. 

For example, someone stated that a cubic metre is 1 by 1 by 1 metre. 

Does it always have to be?

We looked back at one of our ongoing wonderings of the week:

A few of us have changed our position, but mostly we are still firm on first thought. We will check in on this again later in our unit.

It's important that children know why we are learning the maths they are. 

Using the key concept connection, I asked how might we use cubic metres in our real lives?


Hands up if you have moved house or country before?

Most hands shot up.

When you were moving, did anyone hear Mum or Dad talk about cubic metres?

- Oh yes! When we shipped our things it was measured in cubic metres.


One day when you buy furniture, you will be estimating cubic metres- will it fit in the boot of my car? etc 

I threw up some images from google so we could visualise what we were discussing.

Looking at our cubic metre we had constructed, we then had time to walk around our classroom to see if we could visualise how many cubic metres it is.

We were encouraged to keep looking at our cubic metre and see if we can create mental strategies for our estimates.

We walked around some taking large steps, others raising hands from the cubic metre to visualise how many tall there would be.  All very interesting strategies were forming.

We then recorded our estimates:

As part of our hands on rotation learning experiences, each group will eventually devise a way to measure the volume of our room using measuring tapes etc and then will see how close their estimates were.

That group learning experience also entails finding out how many cubic centimetres are in a cubic metre and others of interest (see link: Investigating Cubic Metres )

There is a lot of buzzy excitement about their estimates and hopefully this will help them to also have a better visual understanding of what a cubic metre's space can look like - especially if in later years of school they calculate volume of cubic metres using worksheets only.

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