April 2021 - Top Floor Teachers

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    Science Olympiad Metric Mastery Kit from Ward’s Science

    Teaching measurement conversions is one of those things that can easily become a bore. So often it’s a standard that gets pushed to the end of the year and we have to end up just quickly teaching the basics of “multiply to get the smaller unit and divide to get the larger one.” We don’t need anyone to tell us what we already know -- this is just not good teaching.

    Don’t get us wrong, we don’t ALWAYS leave our students high and dry with this concept. We have spiced things up with engaging notes, games, and puzzles. The results speak for themselves. When we use these fun lessons instead of the boring drill-and-kill, our students comprehend the material so much better. Yet still, we miss the hands-on component that could lend itself so nicely to learning about different forms of measurement. We are lucky enough to have small tape measures provided by our school, and students also obviously have access to rulers, but beyond that, we are often lacking in the supply department to really get kids thinking about different measurements.


    That’s where Ward’s Science Science Olympiad Kits come in. We were so blessed to be gifted the Metric Mastery Science Olympiad kit from this amazing educational company. The kit is a one-stop shop for everything you need to allow your students to explore metric units of measurement. Now not only are our students able to measure lengths (with the MUCH longer tape measures included), but they could also complete investigations of mass, temperature, and liquid volume. The kit includes beakers, a thermometer, a balance scale, and weights -- all things we never had to show these other forms of measurement.

    Now, the kit also comes with lesson plans, and the intended use is to set up various stations with the different materials. Unfortunately, during the time of COVID and our state’s current guidelines, travelling small groups weren’t an option for us. But it didn’t matter! We kicked off our unit with a whole-group discussion about the various ways we measure things in our world. Once we focused the attention on metric units of measurement, we were able to get the students’ wheels turning about making some educated guesses about the length, mass, and volume of various objects.

    Enter the Magic Cube! That’s the term Ward’s gives to the unit cubes included in the kit, and we love it! Each cube is a centimeter wide, weighs one gram, and has a volume of one milliliter. Using this cube, students were able to estimate many different estimates. You would not believe how much fun the kids had guessing the lengths, masses, and volumes of things! Even dropping food coloring into the water we were measuring was exciting to them. Who knew?!

    As an example, students would use their knowledge and observations to predict the length of their desk. Then, using the tape measure, we found the actual measurement. With this new knowledge, students then estimated the length of the classroom. Seeing the critical thinking without the students even realizing it was happening was a blast! Never before did we think balancing a whiteboard eraser on a scale would get our kids so hyped to learn!

    Since we were kicking off our measurement unit with this exploration activity, it was especially fun for students to see (and FEEL) the difference between a gram and a kilogram. It really helped to put things in perspective for the students. The same held true with the difference between the liter and milliliter. They couldn’t believe how small a milliliter was, but totally understood it once they realized it would take 1,000 of those tiny measurements to fill the large beaker.

    We are so happy to have had the opportunity to use such a great kit to get our students to truly understand these metric measurements. If you want the convenience of having all these materials available to you, check out this link to the Metric Mastery Science Olympiad Kit from Ward’s Science and use the code TOPFLOOR12 to get 15% off a kit for your classroom! We would love to hear how you utilize these tools with your students, so let us know!

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