Everyone uses weights and measures every day. We mentally assess whether or not something is the right size, shape, and density for use multiple times a day. Most of the time, we do it without thinking. However, this wasn’t always the case.
One primary school tutoring centre Vermont mathematics task is to teach children to measure items by length, weight, or volume. Measurement of time is introduced in digital and analogue forms to teach students the direction of motion. If this sounds confusing to you, consider approaching one of our local tutoring services for assistance.
I want to concentrate just on the measurement of weight in this article. Weight is all around us. For some, it becomes a significant health issue, but that is not of concern here. Cooking is my favourite use of weight and measures, as delicious results ensue. However, in our digital age, we can get confused as there are two major systems of weights used in the world. America uses the Imperial system of ounces, pounds, stone and ton. Most of the rest of the world uses the Metric measurement, of which the base measure is the gram. Be aware of this as you scroll for recipes or teach your children to cook. Australia uses the metric system in all packaging. Our friendly, knowledgeable and reliable tutors are also able to help with sorting out this confusion.
Conceptual language surrounding weight includes small, light, thin, thick, large and heavy, all of which are comparative terms. Each of these descriptors can have the suffix – er, or -est added to them. Something may be light when on its own, but it becomes lighter or heavier when compared to something else. When compared to many things, it may be the heaviest or the lightest. Once again, an experienced and knowledgeable maths tutor can help with this puzzle.
Mental agility in maths is always required. No more so than when converting metric measurement. The metric measurement system relies on multiples of 10, 100 or 1000. Everything starts at one and moves either up or down the scale. The decimal point placement is the tricky part. For example, 1 = 1.00. A student must learn what the prefixes milli, micro, kilo, etc. and their symbols mean. Then they learn to convert between a large measure, like a tonne or kilogram, and a smaller measure, such as a gram or milligram. Converting requires movement of the decimal point either to the right or to the left. It moves to the right when converting a large measure, kilogram (kg), to a smaller one gram (g) and the left when converting a small measure (microgram) to a larger one milligram (mg). These last measurements are still tiny, but one is larger than the other. Once learnt the application of conversion transfers across all measurements, except time.
Next time you are shopping, look at what you buy and note what measure is on the packet. Invite your children to do the same, as it will provide practical application of what may seem an abstract concept. You will notice that most items are limited to three value places. Once a fourth place is required, it will shift to another measure. Does this sound confusing? If you are unsure, or your child is uncertain, then mathematics tutoring could help you.