Metric units of measure - conversions
This Powerpoint presentation describes, with examples, a simple method to convert between metric units. The method is based on a table similar to a place value table.
I use this method over 3 or 4 lessons. In the first lesson I introduce the table using distance units and encourage the students to remember the number of columns and the headings. I show them how to convert measurements between km, m, cm and mm, then I ask them to copy it and use it to complete a worksheet with different conversions using only whole numbers (e.g. convert 25 cm to mm or to m, but avoid questions like convert 2.5 m to cm at this stage).
I start the second lesson by presenting the table and asking them to place the headings (km, m, cm, mm) in the correct places and asking them to complete one or two simple examples. I then introduce the metric units of weight (kg, g, mg) and show them where to write the headings on the table (kg in the column where we used to have km, g in the column where we used to have m, mg in the mm). This is followed by more examples on the board and individual worksheets.
The third lesson starts by asking them to create the table from a blank sheet of paper and place correctly the distance and weight units in the correct columns. I then introduce the metric units of capacity and ask them to place them in the right columns. At this stage I introduce mixed and more complex examples (e.g. convert 1.5 m into cm)
In my classroom I have a laminated table with 7 columns without headings that I use with post-it notes to teach place value (including decimals) or conversion of metric units. Simple but very effective.