When converting measurments I like to teach the students two sayings to help them remember if they need to multiply or divide. They are "Silly Babies Dancing" (Small to Big Divide) and "Best Soccer Moms" (Big to Small Multiply) This is extremely helpful! When teaching how to convert, I always use the phrase, "multiply or divide by the 'magic number,' when refering to what conversion the students need to use.
To culminate our learning, we played an activity I saw on Pinterest and changed it to make it work for my classroom, and this activity is the Mini Metric Olympics. The events that the students participated in were:
- Cotton Ball Shot Put
- Paper Plate Discus
- Plastic Straw Javelin
- Long Jump
- Paper Plane Glide (yes, it's not an Olympic, but what kid doesn't like making paper planes)
At each station, the students had to participate in the event, measure the distance in meters, and then convert the distance from meters to centimeters, and then convert the distance from meters to millimeters.
Not only was this great practice, but the students had so much fun! They got to get up and move, and throw different objects across the room. It didn't even feel like work to them! I love seeing them practice so many different sills, while being super engaged, while having fun!