Measurement: What's the Big Idea?

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The value of building a strong understanding of measurement must not be underestimated. The skills of measurement are frequently encountered in realworld situations, from measuring the size of a room to measuring the time it takes to run a mile in gym class to the amount of water used when a faucet drips. Instruction involving measurement should focus on teaching students, K–12, to 'understand measurable attributes of objects … and apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements' (NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, p. 44). These measurements may be one, two, or three dimensional and involve length, weight, capacity, time, or temperature. However, research on measurement reports that this concept harbors the largest discrepancy between learning opportunities and actual performance, meaning that although students are instructed in measurement skills in school, they cannot show that they have learned the concept.

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Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
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