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Teaching weight to Year 4

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by cathyafonso95, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. cathyafonso95

    cathyafonso95 New commenter

    I will be introducing 'weight' to my year 4 class this week? I was wondering how you guys have introduced the topic beforehand


  2. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Oh well. I'll say it first. I don't teach 'weight', I teach 'mass'.
  3. briceanus

    briceanus New commenter

    But isn't it easier for little ones to understand how heavy something is rather than try to grasp how much 'stuff' there is, which is somehow related to its volume?
    Strictly we should talk about mass, but even year 12 mechanics students initially struggle to separate mass and weight.
    And, the OP stated they will be introducing 'weight'; maybe they have done mass already !!

    Get some things for them to hold - metal, wood, polystyrene, sponge, etc, have some scales (which measure weight, not mass, even if it says 20g). For mass, you'd want balance scales, which aren't so easy to come by these days.

  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter


    largely because they are so often taught incorrectly at primary school,

    I think googolplex is right, it is absolutely vital to get the terminology right from the word go.

    Make it absolutely clear that it is mass, not weight, if you are talking about mass, not weight, and NEVER use g or kg for weight.
  5. DM

    DM New commenter

    I'm with the crowd. Use mass from outset.
  6. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Isn't the use of mass (or weight) stipulated in the SoW?
  7. DM

    DM New commenter

    Mass is specified in the Programme of Study for Upper Key Stage 2. This topic isn't usually in taught in Year 4.
  8. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    'Mass' was also used in the KS1 SATs paper last year ...
  9. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    get them to feel the mass/weight/stuff in plain packages and try and estimate the order of them, we used balances effectively, which led to some nice discussion when we were balancing "sums"
    also a very good homework follow up, take things out of the cupboard and write down their labelled "weight" they need to get a feel of what is a 1kg, 300g and so forth. Otherwise they give ridiculous answers throughout their school career. As a side issue, the SATS type tests very often as them to pick an item to match a measurement (eg a teaspoon = 1 litre)

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