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Intervention on Teaching and Learning Process in SD Lab UNESA 1 I. Introduction Learning activity in primary school must be designed as fun and meaningful learning to trigger the curiosity and mathematical understanding of the students. This report mainly discuss about a range of activity in measurement for grade four. Measurement is justifiably seen as important because it provides the main route to the application of mathematics to quantities in all daily life, science and technology practice. In addition, it also helps connect ideas within areas of mathematics and between mathematics and other disciplines. In Grade Four, the students are often already aware of the existence of the standard measures of kilogram, gram, and so on. Hovewer most of them have no idea about converting standard unit of measurement. This intervention activity will specifically focus on measuring weght/mass and the introduction to standard unit of weight measurement as well as its conversion. The students must be given opportunity to touch the objects directly, do some estimation and comparison strategies to come up with the number and calculation. In learning about measurement and learning how to measure, students Introduction to RME | November 2011

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Intervention on Teaching and Learning Process in SD Lab UNESA

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I. Introduction

Learning activity in primary school must be designed as fun and

meaningful learning to trigger the curiosity and mathematical understanding of the

students. This report mainly discuss about a range of activity in measurement for

grade four. Measurement is justifiably seen as important because it provides the

main route to the application of mathematics to quantities in all daily life, science

and technology practice. In addition, it also helps connect ideas within areas of

mathematics and between mathematics and other disciplines.

In Grade Four, the students are often already aware of the existence of the

standard measures of kilogram, gram, and so on. Hovewer most of them have no

idea about converting standard unit of measurement. This intervention activity

will specifically focus on measuring weght/mass and the introduction to standard

unit of weight measurement as well as its conversion.

The students must be given opportunity to touch the objects directly, do

some estimation and comparison strategies to come up with the number and

calculation. In learning about measurement and learning how to measure, students

should be actively involved, drawing on familiar and accessible contexts (Heuvel-

Panhuizen, 2005:171)

Also, it is important to let the students understand that weight is a

different physical quantity than length and volume, in the sense that weight of an

object cannot be directly determined from its dimensions, this is why this physical

quantity offers an interesting basis for comparing and ordering (Heuvel-

Panhuizen, 2005:61). Therefore, the participation of the students in each activity

in learning process must be taken into account. In case of converting standard

measures of weight, for example, they should know how to obtain the number

1500 gram from 1.5 kilogram.

Another strategy for estimating measurements is to compare the item to be

measured against some benchmark. For example, a student might estimate the

teacher’s height by noting that it is about one and a quarter times the student’s

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Intervention on Teaching and Learning Process in SD Lab UNESA

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own height. This particular strategy highlights the use of multiplicative reasoning,

an important indication of advancing understanding (NCTM, 2000:172).

Students should gain facility in expressing measurements in equivalent

forms. They use their knowledge of relationships between units and their

understanding of multiplicative situations to make conversions, such as expressing

150 centimeters as 1.5 meters or 3 feet as 36 inches . This is also applied when

measuring weight. They should understand why they should multiply the number

by 10 and divide the number by 10 to convert 1 kilogram into gram, vice versa.

This kind of activity also useful to increase their understanding about calculating

number and comparison strategies.

Based on several basic reasons above, intervention activity was held on

Wednesday, November, 16, 2011 in Class IV B and Miss Fitria as the classroom

teacher. The topic was about weight measurement and converting standard units.

II. Goal

Generally, the goal of this intervention activity is to give the students

meaningful experience in comparing weight of two or more objects by involving

directly in measuring each object. Specifically, this activity is also conducted with

the aim of introducing the use of multiplicative reasoning in conversion as the

basis of the measurement system.

III. Intervention Questions

1. Is the intervention activity effective to create meaningful experience in comparing weight of two or more objects?

2. Do the students understand the use of multiplicative reasoning in conversion as the basis of the measurement system?

IV. Description of Intervention Activity

4.1. Measurement Instrument and Measurement Objects

Intervention was conducted after the teacher finished the opening activity

and delivered a brief explanation about the chapter, which was weight

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measurement and converting standard units. The most essensial part of this

activity was the use of measurement instrument and measurement objects which

were familiar to students. The students were provided with a nonstandards

measurement tool which was a simple balance to measure some objects such as

marbles, chocowafer, coins, and ballpoint caps. The number of objects given to

each group was 1 wafer, 4 marbles, 4 coins, and 3 ballpoint caps. The

measurement instrument was a handmade tool from simple items and they were

all designed to be a balance. Nevertheless, There were no standards measure and

scale in this measurement instrument, it was constructed with two wooden sticks.

They were connected by using wire hook, the first stick was used for the handle of

the tool , other stick consist of two plastic cup to put the things which will be

measured. Therefore, the purpose of this instrument was not for measuring scale

and reading off the measure, this was aimed to let the students improve their

skills in comparison strategies and use the multiplicative reasoning. Both of these

skills are useful later when they come up with the converting unit system.

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Intervention on Teaching and Learning Process in SD Lab UNESA

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The students should notice that they must use the number of objects given

to them. They were not allowed to add some more objects. They should be

assisted to use the indirect measurement or getting the result of measurement by

calculation and looking for the relationship of previous questions.

4.2. Worksheet

The worksheet was used as a report of each group’s activity. The

worksheet was designed to build the understanding about estimating the mass of

certain objects and making comparison strategies by reviewing the relationship

among the objects. The worksheet consisted in 7 questions including the part of

concluding the discussion. Previously, on the top of the worksheet, there were

some instruction which was also essensial.

Due to this reason, the students had to pay attention on instruction part.

They had to read the instruction carefully. Otherwise, they will be misled. The

first question was that to compare the weight of one coin to the unknown number

of ballpoint caps. The student must find how many ballpoint caps have the same

weight as one coin. Second, the students had to measure how many coins have the

same weight as one marble. The next question was similar to the previous

questions, which was to measure the number of marbles which can balance one

wafer. The fourth question compared the unknown number of ballpoint caps to

one marble. This question was quite tricky noting that the result will exceed the

amount of given objects while the students must obey the rule that they are not

allowed to add more objects.

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Measurement Instrument and Measurement objects

Intervention on Teaching and Learning Process in SD Lab UNESA

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The fifth and the sixth question compared the weight of one wafer to the

unknown number of coins and ballpoint caps. It was also complicated for the

students since the number of objects with them was not enough to balance the

wafer.

4.3. Data Description

The students of grade four in SD Laboratorium Unesa had already been

prepared in group and generally assesment was done by monitoring each group.

The Teacher started the class with the opening activity, she drilled the children in

multiplication of 1-10 by posing some questions orally and let the students think | November 2011

Student’s Worksheet

Intervention on Teaching and Learning Process in SD Lab UNESA

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of the answer for about 10 seconds. The purpose of this activity was to create the

competitiveness among the group of the students and help the students memorise

the mutiplication of 1-10 easily. Afterward, She asked the students to submit the

task of previous meeting.

The teacher had already introduced the standard unit as well as the

difference of nonstandard measurement unit and standard measurement unit. The

students were also assisted to give each example of them previously. The teacher

then give brief description about the topic which will be discussed that day, that

was about weight measurement. Next, one student was chosen as a representative

of his group to read the chapter about weight and the standard unit, other students

listened.

There are 7 group of students in the classroom, each group consist in 4-5

students. They were given the same measurement instruments and the same

number of objects which will be measured. Besides, they were also given the

worksheet to record the result of their measurement activity. Even though this sort

of instrument was relatively easy to be used, it was still complicated for the

students. Therefore, the teacher provided the understandable instruction for the

students in order to make them can learn to use the instrument properly. The

teacher monitored each group of students in the classroom to ensure that all

students understand the mechanism of the tools.

After each group of students had constructed the measurement instrument,

they started the activity, they worked together in one group, and one student wrote

on the worksheet, others worked on the instruments. The way of the students in

operating the instruments were also varied. It can be seen when they put the

objects to plastic cup, for example, some group put 1 marble in the left side plastic

cup, and then put another object to the other side. The other group put all the

objects into the cup in the same time.

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While measuring the objects, most of the group did not find any

difficulties, they did some estimation about the number of objects which balance

others. As the result, there were some different answers from each group, for

instance, the group A found that the weight of 1 coin was the same as 2 ballpoint

caps, while group B was convinced that the weight of 1 coin was the same as the

weight of 3 ballpoint caps.

In the worksheet, the students must also put the reason how to get result of

comparing the weight of some objects. The reasons on the groups’ worksheet

were quite similar each other.

The students had no problem in doing first, second, and third questions.

However, it took more time for each group to analyze the fourth question since

they run out objects to be put so that they still cannot balance the object in another

| November 2011

The students worked together to compare the weight of the objects

Intervention on Teaching and Learning Process in SD Lab UNESA

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plastic cup. Unfortunately, most of groups cannot come up to the multiplication

indicating that they were not able to see the pattern or the relationship with the

previous questions.

The next activity was that the teacher asked one student as a representative

of her group to present what had been discussed. Other groups listened and gave

Each group of students found slightly different measurements, even

though they measured the same object using the same kind of measurement tool.

The teacher asked students to discuss the factors that may lead to different

measurements. Students’ responses varied according to their experience. These

include the limitations of the measurement tool, how precisely students estimate

the weight of the objects.

V. Data Analysis

Based on the result of the groups’ worksheet, there were some similarities

in the way of the students to answer each question on the worksheet. Especially,

when they were asked about the reason why should the answer be like that.

Generally, the students seemed understand the questions and did the activity

according to the instruction from the teacher. As what had been discussed

previously, the students encountered a problem in analyzing the fourth questions

which was quite tricky since the number of the ballpoint caps they got was not

enough to make the tool balance. Some students suggest adding more ballpoint

caps to balance it. She was convinced that with more ballpoint caps, the weight

will be the same as the number of 1 marble. It was disappointing for her to know

that she was not allowed to put more things exceeding the number of objects

given before. The purpose of this kind of questions was actually to make the

students come up to the comparison strategies and multiplication. After being

encouraged to do so, the students finally can conclude that despite the insufficient

number of objects, they can get the answer by doing some calculation.

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It can be seen from the answer of the fourth questions to compare the

weight of 1 marble to the unknown number of ballpoint caps. The problem was

that the ballpoint caps which are allowed to be used are only 3, they need more

ballpoint caps. Otherwise, they cannot balance the marble.

In case of finding the number of ballpoint caps, most of students cannot

analyze the relationship between the number of coins, the number of marbles, and

so on.

The skill to analyze this sort of problem was needed to help the students

understand the multiplication in conversion as the basis of measurement system.

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VI. Conclusion

1. In learning about measurement, the students should be actively involved, can feel the weight of the objects, make comparison strategies, and understand the multiplication reasoning, this sort of skills are important as the basis of formal conversions in measurement system.

2. Each group of students will find slightly different measurements, even though they are measuring the same object using the same kind of measurement tools. The teacher should ask students to discuss the factors that may lead to different measurements. Students’ responses will vary according to their experience, they should recognize factors that affect precision. These include the limitations of the measurement.

REFERENCES

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). 2000. Principles and Standards

for School Mathematics. Reston, Va. NCTM.

Heuvel-Panhuizen. 2005. Young Children Learn Measurement and Geometry.

Freudenthal Institute : Utrecht University.

| November 2011

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