^

Basics of the metric system and the common prefixes

This is a simple lesson explaining the common prefixes of the metric system units and how they work. The units are organized in a table, and we learn what each prefix actually means:

kilo (thousand)
hecto (hundred)
deka (ten)
basic unit
deci (tenth)
centi (hundredth)
milli (thousandth)

These same prefixes are used whether you have meters, grams, liters, watts, bytes, or whatever. Each unit (such as millimeter, centimeter, decimeter, meter, etc.) differs from the neighboring ones by a factor of ten.

We do simple conversions between measuring units considering what the prefix actually means. For example, since "centi" means hundredth, then 8 cm means 8 hundredths of a meter, or 0.08 m.

I then show a handy table that is similar to place value table or chart, which we can use to easily convert units. You simply write the digits of the quantity in the right places, and then you read the quantity in different places to convert it. It makes measuring unit conversions just really easy!

This lesson is intended for 5th or 6th grade math.

Back to 5th grade videos index

Back to the index of all videos

WAIT!

Receive my monthly collection of math tips & resources directly in your inbox — and get a FREE Math Mammoth book!

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Math Mammoth Tour

Confused about the different options? Take a virtual email tour around Math Mammoth! You'll receive:

An initial email to download your GIFT of over 400 free worksheets and sample pages from my books. Six other "TOURSTOP" emails that explain the important things and commonly asked questions concerning Math Mammoth curriculum. (Find out the differences between all these different-colored series!)

This way, you'll have time to digest the information over one or two weeks, plus an opportunity to ask me personally about the curriculum.
A monthly collection of math teaching tips & Math Mammoth updates (unsubscribe any time)

"Mini" Math Teaching Course

This is a little "virtual" 2-week course, where you will receive emails on important topics on teaching math, including:

- How to help a student who is behind
- Troubles with word problems
- Teaching multiplication tables
- Why fractions are so difficult
- The value of mistakes
- Should you use timed tests
- And more!

A GIFT of over 400 free worksheets and sample pages from my books right in the very beginning. A monthly collection of math teaching tips & Math Mammoth updates (unsubscribe any time)