#MTBoSBlaugust – Day 2
Ah, unit conversions. How many pints are there in a gallon? Cups in a quart? Feet in a mile? These skills are taught, per Common Core, in 5th and 6th grade. The only mention of them in Algebra 1 is in the Number & Quantity section where it states:
Reason quantitatively and use units to solve problems.
Shouldn’t be a huge problem, right? Right? Wrong! It seems every year I spend way too much time teaching and reteaching unit conversions to my students. That almighty decimal point really has the power to mess with their heads. My students are not the only ones who struggle with this concept. I took this photo at a local gas station last month. I don’t think I will be buying much gas here!
My co-teacher loves to use an example from a local gas station. The sign out front said,
Two hotdogs for .1¢
This always leads to wonderful discussions about decimals and unit conversions. Even big companies fall down over unit conversions. Listen to the following clip from a customer’s argument with Verizon over the cost of data used while in Canada.
Do your students hate this concept as much as mine do? How do you handle it?