Wednesday, October 7, 2009

National Metric Week

National Metric Week is celebrated from October 5-11 in order to maintain an awareness of the importance of the metric system as the primary system of measurement for the US. Annually, the week of the 10th month containing the 10th day of the month. For more information visit,
-The Teacher's Calendar, 2008-2009

Murphy, Stuart J.
Polly's Pen Pal.
HarperCollins Publishers.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Polly's pen pal, Ally, is 125 centimeters tall, weighs 25 kilograms, and lives 450 kilometers away — and Polly is determined to find a way to visit her! A story of long-distance friendship introduces basic metric measurements to children.

I've always been a big fan of Murphy's MathStart series, but this one just didn't strike me... it just didn't seem as great as the others I've reviewed. However, that being said, it is definitely one that I'd include on a unit on measurement (metrics), I just wouldn't use it as an introduction to metrics! It's a good story and I definitely think kids will take away something from it, but they do need to have a basic understanding of metrics before-hand or they will be very confused by what's going on!

Schwartz, David.
Millions to Measure.
HarperCollins Publishers.
Guided Reading Level: O

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Your favorite wizard is back -- and ready to explore the invention of length, weight, and volume measurements. How tall is Moonbeam, the unicorn? How long are the whiskers of Jello, the cat? And just how heavy is that darling hog? Tons and teaspoons and ounces and feet and yards and miles ... what a headache! With millions of things to measure, wouldn't one standard system be simpler? With another wave of the wand, Marvelosissimo introduces you to the world of metrics and makes it easy to understand the basic pattern of meters, liters, and grams. And with Steven Kellogg's playful and delightfully detailed illustrations, measuring has never been such a blast!

This book is exactly the opposite of Polly's Pen Pal... it is definitely worth sharing as an introduction to the metric unit in math! It not only goes into details about the system, but I think children will be drawn in from the get-go as they learn how the metric system was founded. It's definitely worth sharing - children will likely love the facts that they find within!

Lesson Plans/Learning Activities:
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to