Measurement and Geometry: Building Conceptual Understanding in Young Children
Measurement misconceptions among children are often difficult for teachers to uncover and understand. Yet if teachers in the early grades provide deliberate types of lessons and experiences for their students, they can avoid many of those misconceptions. According to the National Research Council's report, Adding It Up, students need to "mentally structure and revise their construction of space" so they learn when to use particular types of measurement. In this session, Cynthia Stone will provide teachers with a range of hands-on experiences that they can immediately use in the classroom so that students can begin to build conceptual understandings in measurement. These activities will develop four concepts: making comparison between objects by matching; comparing objects with nonstandard units; comparing objects with standard units; and choosing suitable units for specific measurements. The session will also address how teachers will know when students "understand", and what is acceptable evidence of understanding.
Cynthia Stone has been an educator for 23 years: 16 years as a classroom teacher, and the past 7 years as a mentor teacher in science and mathematics, supporting teachers in the shift to standards-based classrooms. In addition to working with teachers, she has provided ongoing monthly professional development in mathematics and science content and pedagogy. Ms. Stone was a Program Coordinator for a Technology Innovation Challenge Grant awarded to the University of Texas at El Paso. She designed and delivered professional development instruction to teachers to help them integrate technology into classroom instruction. Ms. Stone has a B.S. in education degree from Southeast Missouri State University, a master's degree in instructional technology from the University of Texas at El Paso, and is currently working on her doctorate in the Educational Leadership Department of the University of Texas at El Paso.