Math Tourist: Stalagmites Take Forever

Essential Questions for students (objectives):  How can you use multiplication and standard measurements to solve problems?
Supplies:   video (length -0.39), note-maker
CCSS:  4.OA.2, 4.NBT.5, 4.MD.1,2 TEKS: 4.8B, 4.8C, 4.4H  Math Modeling
Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group or individual work

Time needed: 20 minutes +

Lesson Description: There are many ways to use this video in your math class.  I filmed it with the express purpose of modeling a standard measurement conversion problem that relates multiplication and place value.  The information also touches on cubic inches which can spark a rich discussion on 3-D modeling.

1) You can show this video (0:39) at the beginning of a unit on converting within standard measurement as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about conversions.  You can have them work on the problem at the end of daily lessons (or once a week) armed with new knowledge that they are exploring in class.  Students use the note-maker to help record their problem-solving work.  Or you could revisit the video at the end of the unit as a formative check to see what the students have learned about conversions within a measurement system and whether they can apply that knowledge combined with multiplication and place value.

2) You could show this video as a warm-up activity after the students have learned some basic conversions.  It is a great way to show context to conversions that isn’t the same old conversion worksheets.

Extensions:  What did the Earth look like the year the stalagmite started to grow?  This would be a wonderful connection to science and social studies!


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