Teri Cosentino
National Science Teachers Association Recommends
February 6, 2006

Measuring is one of the most basic science processes, and it is a key skill in elementary programs. It is the basis of everything scientists do, incorporating math and science skills, but sadly, it is the one area often overlooked by the elementary science teacher. If measuring is taught at all, it's reserved for a brief introductory lesson and then neglected. This video series will allow teachers to introduce the skills needed for accurate scientific measurement to elementary students in a way that stresses their importance and motivates young scientific minds. The Visual Learning Company not only produced a product that uses a ruler, thermometer, balance, and graduated cylinder to address measurement but it does so in a way that is practical and relevant to individual learners. The video relates measurement to metric units, dogs, food, and sports and uses activities such as baking a cake to stress the importance of measurement skills in everyday life (not just in science class). I have been doing this type of thing for years with my third graders as we weigh and measure just about everything we can manage in the classroom. Sometimes practicing these skills leads naturally to new ideas, like the difference between liquids and solids. I cover the basics and allow students to make these discoveries on their own. As we become a more global society, it is important that we understand the metric measurement system and teach elementary students to use it properly. To that end, Measuring [including a teacher’s guide, video/DVD, video script, pre/post student test, video review, vocabulary sheet, and writing and measuring (temperature, length and volume) activity sheets] is a terrific purchase for both an experienced teacher measurer or for a first time teacher adventurer. I highly recommend this guide for third graders, but it could be easily used in grades 3 to 5, especially for fifth-grade review.