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# Measuring Cups

The Measuring Cups is a set of five nesting, polygonal containers with flat bottoms and tops. These measuring containers hold, and are labeled with, common US customary volume units (1 tsp, 1 tbsp,  and fractional cups). Additionally, all containers feature the equivalent metric volume measure (e.g., 5ml, 15ml, etc.). Finally, the largest measuring container features the mass equivalencies (grams and oz) of  0.5 cups (120ml) of three common baking ingredients (flour, sugar, butter). The model can be printed without support structures in most 3D printers.

### Big Idea

The Measuring Cups manipulative are a useful tool for exploring several volumetric and density relationships. In their most basic use, the cups allow for the exploration and comparison of US customary and metric volumetric units. Three of the cups can be used to directly compare fractional relationships with US customary units (½  cup, ⅓ cup, ¼ cup)  while all of the cups’ metric volumetric sizes can be used with advanced learners to determine ratios and relationships. Finally, material density can be explored using materials listed on the ½ cup (120 ml) container and extended with the use of other materials and a scale.

Students engaging with this basic manipulative can first build an understanding of volume while using a single material and then density when using multiple materials.

Purpose

Students can use the Measuring Cups to make sense of different unit standards used to represent the same quantity (e.g., US Customary vs Metric), in addition they can use the manipulatives to visualize various ratios and fractional relationships between a single material source, and finally they can use these manipulatives to investigate the density relationship between various materials of the same volume.