Learning Math: Measurement
A course for elementary and middle school teachers, examines some of the major ideas in measurement. You will explore procedures for measuring and learn about standard units in the metric and customary systems, the relationships among units, and the approximate nature of measurement. You will also examine how measurement can illuminate mathematical concepts such as irrational numbers, properties of circles, and area and volume formulas, and discover how other mathematical concepts can inform measurement tasks such as indirect measurement.
1. What Does It Mean To Measure?—Explore what can be measured and what it means to measure. Identify measurable properties such as weight, surface area, and volume, and discuss which metric units are more appropriate for measuring these properties.
2. Measurement Fundamentals—Investigate the difference between a count and a measure, and examine essential ideas such as unit iteration, partitioning, and the compensatory principle. Learn about the many uses of ratio in measurement and how scale models help us understand relative sizes.
3. The Metric System—Learn about the relationships between units in the metric system and how to represent quantities using different units. Estimate and measure quantities of length, mass, and capacity, and solve measurement problems.
4. Angle Measurement—Review appropriate notation for angle measurement, and describe angles in terms of the amount of turn. Use reasoning to determine the measures of angles in polygons based on the idea that there are 360 degrees in a complete turn. Learn about the relationships among angles within shapes, and generalize a formula for finding the sum of the angles in any n-gon.
5. Indirect Measurement and Trigonometry—Learn how to use the concept of similarity to measure distance indirectly, using methods involving similar triangles, shadows, and transits. Apply basic right-angle trigonometry to learn about the relationships among steepness, angle of elevation, and height-to-distance ratio.
6. Area—Learn that area is a measure of how much surface is covered. Explore the relationship between the size of the unit used and the resulting measurement. Find the area of irregular shapes by counting squares or subdividing the figure into sections.
7. Circles and Pi—Investigate the circumference and area of a circle. Examine what underlies the formulas for these measures, and learn how the features of the irrational number pi affect both of these measures.
8. Volume—Explore several methods for finding the volume of objects, using both standard cubic units and non-standard measures. Explore how volume formulas for solid objects such as spheres, cylinders, and cones are derived and related.
9. Measurement Relationships—Examine the relationships between area and perimeter when one measure is fixed. Determine which shapes maximize area while minimizing perimeter, and vice versa. Explore the proportional relationship between surface area and volume.
10. Classroom Case Studies, K–2—Watch this program in the 10th session for K–2 teachers. Explore how the concepts developed in this course can be applied through case studies of K–2 teachers (former course participants who have adapted their new knowledge to their classrooms), as well as a set of typical measurement problems for K–2 students.
11. Classroom Case Studies, 3–5—Watch this program in the 10th session for grade 3–5 teachers. Explore how the concepts developed in this course can be applied through case studies of grade 3–5 teachers (former course participants who have adapted their new knowledge to their classrooms), as well as a set of typical measurement problems for grade 3–5 students.
12. Classroom Case Studies, 6–8—Watch this program in the 10th session for grade 6–8 teachers. Explore how the concepts developed in this course can be applied through case studies of grade 6–8 teachers (former course participants who have adapted their new knowledge to their classrooms), as well as a set of typical measurement problems for grade 6–8 students.
Instructional Video Resources
Use our classroom videos for every curriculum and every grade level.
Lending LibraryAccess our lending library and order form for video titles for all grade levels and subject areas.
Sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter to learn about new programs, classroom resources, and professional development opportunities!
Assignment: The World has been discontinued by the producer and is no longer available for broadcast.
PBS Newshour Extra’s Daily News Story is a great alternative.