As we begin another school year, I reflect on how important accurate measurement is for students. Accurate measurement applies to both Math and Science. It also relates to engineering because of its integration with math and science. Class begins with students being asked to measure various objects in and near our classroom. No instruction is given about units, metrics, or how to use a ruler. I’m consistently surprised when students make the same mistakes. About 10% of the students use the metric system while the rest use imperial measurements. Less than 5% of my students record a unit after their measurement. I often show this ruler image to remind students to begin measuring at the “0” mark on their ruler.

When every student has measured, they compare results and discover the need for units and using the same measuring method.

I’m interested in hearing responses to the following:

- How do you introduce the year to math or science students?
- How do you help students remember to use units in their measuring?
- At what age do you see students using metrics instead of imperial units in science classes?
- What common core standards might be associated with this activity?

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