The Power of the Model

I have long maintained the importance of students understanding conceptually before procedurally.  Take, for example, measurement units.  How many of us grew up truly understanding what a square centimetre looked like or a cubic metre?  I know that I didn’t.  On a recent visit to Sault Ste. Marie, I had an opportunity to visit a K-8 school and happened upon this:

I can only imagine how much better I would have understood measurement units, conversions, volume, and the formulae for various volumes had I had the opportunity to explore these concepts outside of the pages of a textbook.  So powerful indeed.