I really liked the staircase idea I did for the math journals last year (you can read more about how I teach metric conversions HERE and see our journal entry for last year HERE), so I really had to think to come up with a different idea for our journals this year. And then inspiration hit ... we LOVED the Pop-Up Bar Graphs we made, so we made a Pop-Up Staircase to help us remember the metric prefixes - it also works as a great manipulative to get students "walking" through the steps.
For this interactive tool, you have to fold a piece of paper in half (we also trimmed a little bit off the side so it fit better in our notebooks). With the paper folded in half, draw two 12cm parallel lines down the page. Divide this into 6 sections (2 cm each). Do the same on the other side. Cut down the 12cm lines (NOT all the way to the bottom of the page) and when you open the paper, you have 2 slits down the page (24cm long). Fold the paper back and forth (accordion style) along each of the sections you made ... and watch the magic staircase appear! We labelled each step with the metric prefix - and we wrote the mnemonic device on the side of each step to help the students remember - King Henry Doesn't Usually (units) Drink Chocolate Milk.
What a GREAT addition to our Math Journals! For the proof section of our journals, I asked the students to solve 3 different metric conversions - one going up the staircase, one going down the staircase, and one of their own choice. For the reflection section, we used my newest set of question fans: Math Reflection Fans. I chose a question from the "Understand" section, and put it under the document camera to project it for the class. Students had to write about the new information they learned and give an example of it.
And there you have it! Now, some of my students did have a little trouble with this foldable because it was a little complicated, but I was able to pair up those students with a student who had already finished it.
I've been using the metric staircase for YEARS to help my students with metric conversions, so I would love some new ideas ... how do you teach metric conversions to your class??