## An Overview of the Metric System

Introduction

The metric system is based on multiples of 10. This makes it very easy to use with decimal numbers. One of the principle advantages of this is that it makes doing math with metric measurements much easier, which is why metric measurements are pretty much the standard in any sort of science or math class you will have. Once you learn the prefixes and base units, much of the work in the metric system is often just moving the decimal point around..

Also, the different types of measurement (distance, volume, mass and temperature) are related to each other in the metric system in part by using a very common substance — water. When you put all of these parts together, the metric system is very… well, it’s very systematic.

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## 100 Problem Timed Tests Posted

Well, the new school year has kicked off here and I’m leading a first and fifth grader this year through the math jungle. For my younger daughter, we’re starting back near the beginning of the material on the site. This’ll be a good opportunity for me to tune up and improve some of the worksheets we haven’t looked at in a while here.

Our fifth grader just started at BASIS Scottsdale, a local charter school with an outstanding reputation for rigorous academics. The organization runs schools at several locations in Arizona, and recently announced that former Intel chief Craig Barett has taken over as president and chairman of the board. We’re excited to be there… and just a little nervous. I just finished reading over the curriculum through high school graduation, and I can see differential calculus coming just a tad sooner than anticipated. Like 10th grade. Holy Liebniz, Batman!

For fifth grade, BASIS uses Saxon Math 7/8 and we’re off to a good start there. The initial diagnostic tests for the basic math operations are 100 problem tests given with a two minute time limit. For practice, I built a set of new worksheets that mimic the 10 x 10 Saxon layout and we’ve been drilling these here over the weekend.

Beyond the basic operations, it looks like the early part of the year covers a lot of percentages and ratios, so maybe my eagerness to get away from fraction-related content may be premature. Either way, we’ll have fun!

Meanwhile you can find the new 100 problem, two minute timed tests at the links below…

Also, the ‘All Problems’ addition tests have been updated to include variants that don’t have the ‘X+0′ problems. This should create some more rigorous worksheets for memorizing the more difficult facts.

## Worksheets for Reducing Fractions

A new collection of worksheets on reducing fractions has been posted. These sheets are at several levels of difficulty and include simple reductions and reducing improper fractions to mixed numbers in the lowest form. Answer keys show the reductions in the same style as the other fraction worksheets.

I’m working on additional worksheets dealing with converting fractions to their decimal equivalents, and then I think we’ll have wrapped up the basic fractions sheets. Having hit fraction addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, we should be pretty complete for basic fraction related topics. I’ll do an overview post on all of the fraction content at that point, and then I’ll be (gladly!) moving on to a new topic area.

Going through fractions with my daughter has been tough, and thankfully something ‘clicked’ for her along the way, although frankly I’m not sure what or how. Especially for multiplication and division, it was a topic area where I struggled to get across the relationships between the numbers and not just the procedures (although I admit to repeating the phrase, “Take the reciprocal and multiply” so many times I now mumble it in my sleep.) Regardless of my bumbling efforts, my nearly-5th grader seems to have the concepts down now, and this Dad is relieved.

You can find the new worksheets are at the link below, or navigate the ‘Worksheet’ menu on the side of the page.

Worksheets for Reducing Fractions

Hope you’ve had a great summer!