Teaching and Learning Measurement

I’m Siti Rahmah,

In my opinion, teaching and learning measurement becomes important for students to train their solving skills and connect their interests in mathematics. That is because in learning measurement students will investigate some concrete mathematical objects and understanding its relationship with their real life. Moreover, it is better for students even while they need to learn in classroom about the concepts of measurement and they also need to do exploration outside the classroom. That is become more significant because students would develop their practical skills in estimating and measuring some real-life problems regarding to measurement. But, there are also some limitations for teacher to teach measurement because one student to another has different life experiences based on their age level. Therefore, in teaching and learning measurement, teacher need to distinguish the treatment to teach concept of measurement for different level and define a strategy which applicable for them at certain level.

First, teacher need focus for the content in teaching measurement for young learners especially for primary school students. It is because young learners begin to measure using direct comparison as they find and investigate the objects around them. For example, young learners try to cover the surface of some objects with informal units of squares to develop a sense of area. That is a basic skill that learner needs to emphasize because of they need to understand how to estimate and measure of the objects.

Second, teaching measurement for secondary level enable the to describe and compare the symbols of objects including understanding a space and time and using measurement to solve real-life problems. At this level, students continue to develop measurement sense related to the objects attributes and try to estimate measurement by understanding all attributes such that length, mass, and time in the real-life context. Besides that, teacher also needs to train students critical thinking by letting them to explore and analyze the relationship between these attributes to calculate measurement. Calculating measurements required learners to more deeply understand about how estimating measurements of regular and irregular shapes and objects and composites to these attributes. That is also train students to understand how to identify and calculate the speed and density as a further concept that learners need to understand.

Third, in teaching measurements for high level learners, teacher need to catch up some skills which students need to be mastered in learning measurement concepts. The basic skill which need to fulfill in learning measurement is estimating and measuring because students can internalize a benchmark for measuring the length, mass, area and volume, temperature, time, and so on. Teacher can help scaffold this skill by asking them to explain and justify the strategies and benchmark that they use to estimate. Teacher also can use strategy for estimating by training students’ solving skills through investigating tasks for irregular shapes and solids.

On the other hand, teaching students to find the area not only let students to use the formula given by the teacher but teacher need to engage students construct their understanding in finding the formula by investigating the objects. For example, students derive the formula for the are of rectangle by drawing a triangle placed in the triangle and they investigate how much the are of rectangle use to draw a triangle inside. From that simple engagement then students not only remember the formulas, but they also emphasize their understanding about shapes relationship. Then teacher can continue teach students to learn volume by using cans in a box which let students to applying procedures rather than conceptual understanding. Then teacher also can teach students about pyhtagorean theorem because we expect our students can learn from many significant theorems in mathematics. The next concept in learning measurement is when teacher asks students to investigate triangles by finding their ratios of each side. It is introducing students to learn trigonometry through investigation from similar objects.

Last, all level needs to emphasize their skill in making connections and problem solving and modelling for measurements. It means that students make connections with and between mathematics and real-world problems by investigating and solving the problems. For example, teacher can start by instructing them to make a group and choose an object then brainstorming the issues based on the objects, after that students should identify the issues and investigate it by using mathematical modelling and they probably use measurement and applying it into their problems.

Thank you,

Cheers,

Rahmah.