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Estimation and Precise Measurement
Target Group: Grades 68
Duration: 1 to 2  45 minute class periods
ObjectivesStudents will
Demonstrate how to measure with preciseness given measurement tools;
estimate the measure of an object;
collect and analyze data;
select appropriate unit of measure for a given situation;
Materials
Meters sticks, rulers or tape measures, one for every two students
Graphing calculators (Optional: graphing calculators with Science Tools Application) or graph paper
Student handout
Procedures
Begin the lesson by discussing strategies used to estimate the length or width of an object. Then discuss what it means to have a precise measurement. Discuss when you would use an estimated measurement and when you would use a precise measurement.
Display a meter stick in front of the class for students to use as an estimation tool. Students will estimate the 8 items listed in the student handout.
Once students have filled in column 1 with their estimates, assign partners and instruct students to measure the same objects with precision using a measuring tool. Record the precise measurement in column 2.
Record in column 3 the difference between the estimated and precise measurement.
Graph a scatter plot of the data collected using a graphing
calculator or graph paper. Depending on the level and student
use of the graphing calculator, you may select to use the
Science Tools Application.
Once the students complete a scatter plot, discuss what the graph would look like if all the estimates were equal to the precise measurement. (y= x)
Have the students graph y=x. Discuss the meaning of the coordinate points found above the graph of y=x. Discuss the meaning of the coordinate points found below the graph of y=x.
For the completion of the 4 questions on the handout, instruct students that the class will be doing a Think, Pair, & Share strategy. (See website for more information: HYPERLINK "http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/readquest/strat/tps.html" http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/readquest/strat/tps.html)
The questions from the student handout are listed below:
Find the mean of Column 3. Is it better to have a mean closer to 0? Explain why or why not.
If your estimated measurements were equal to the actual measurements, explain what the graph would look.
Write an explanation and state an example as to why you think it is important to be able to estimate?
Write and explanation and state an example as to why you think it is important to be able to measure with preciseness.
Vocabulary
Estimation the use of rounding and/or other strategies to determine a reasonably accurate approximation, without calculating an exact answer.
Precise  Exact, as in performance, execution, or amount; accurate or correct: a precise measurement; a precise instrument
Mean the arithmetic average of a set of numbers. It is also a measure of central tendency.
Created by Gail A. Burton
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