Reviewing Scientific Notation

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SWBAT write numbers in scientific notation including very large and very small numbers. Students should have prior knowledge of scientific notation.

Big Idea

When science and math collide you get scientific notation. Review notation already taught in science class with this lesson in math class.

Bellringer - Entrance Assessment

15 minutes

Begin class today with a student graded formative assessment I call a learning check.  The 11 question quiz covers square roots, cubed roots, and laws of exponents.  I like to use student graded quizes that do not count as a grade in the gradebook but instead foster student ownership of their own learning and again allow me to monitor student progress.  Students should complete the quiz on their own without a calculator.  Once students are finished, they recieve a scoring guide on which they grade and analyze their quiz.  The scoring sheet is not only a list of correct answers but also an analysis sheet.  When students mark an answer as incorrect, they must look at the question, their answer, and the correct answer to figure out what went wrong.  Was the mistake a simple mistake or were they completely wrong in their thinking.  Next, student analyze their mastery level of the two standards by tallying how many correct answers they marked for questions aligned to each stanadard.  Perfection is mastery but so is near perfection.  Partial mastery is near the 50% correct level, and limited mastery is any amount under 50% correct.  

Collect the papers once graded.  It is also a good idea to have student keep a record of their own learning check scores on some sort of paper or in a data notebook of some type so they can also thinnk about where to focus their study efforts.



Introducing the Lesson

10 minutes

I like to open this lesson with a very interesting video that demonstrates the power of 10.  This video is older you can tell, but still very interesting and a great introduction to scientific notation.  The video denonstrate how quickly distances increase or decrease by simply multiplying by 10.


I like to pause the video at different times to discuss the size and the effect the power of 10 has on numbers and distances.



Working Through the Activity

20 minutes

Clarifying your learning goals before beginning a lesson is very important.  To watch a short video about clarifying learning intentions and criteria for success click on the Clarifying and Sharing Learning Intentions and Criteria for Success.


Clarify for students that today is focused on reviewing format for scientific notation.  Students should have previous exposure to writing numbers in scientific notation - our students are taught this skill while in seventh grade science.  The goal of this lesson is to activate prior knowledge of scientific notation and rules of writing very large and very small numbers in scientific notation. 


Pass out the activity pages "Writing Numbers in Scientific Notation" and allow students one minute to read the directions for question one on their own.  Ask a student to to read the directions aloud and then explain the directions in his/her own words.  Ask students, "So which do you complete first, questions a and b or the the tables?"  Of course you want to hear the tables and ensure everyone knows how to begin.  Then allow students about 10 minutes to complete the tables (now pass out the calculators after you are sure they were listening to you and not working ahead) and answer question one. 

As students work, move about the room Providing feedback that moves learning forward and also deciding which group will present during the mini wrap-up time at the end of the ten minutes.  Hold a mini wrap up to discuss the power of 10 on place value and ensure everyone has correct answers to part a and b by Scripting Strategy the best "class" answers on the board.


Homework:  Because of the learning check and video introduction, this is probably as far as you will make it during class today. Assign the second page of the activity as homework practice.  Your assessment of their learning today really comes from constant movement about the room observing student approaches, asking probing questions, and listening to students as they talk within groups.  Collecting the homework tomorrow before you present answers would also be another good source of formative assessment.


Activating students as owners of their own learning

Activating students as resources for one another

Cooperative Grouping Explained

Working in cooperative groups applies math practice standards 3 and 6 as students discuss their ideas using correct vocabulary and must assess the ideas of others within the group.

Looking for structure in the tables to discern a pattern for the power of 10 applies math practice standard 7 - Look for and make use of structure.