Applying Scientific Notation - Formative Assessment Lesson Completed

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Students will be able to estimate lengths of everyday objects, convert between decimal and scientific notion, and make comparisons of the size of numbers expressed in both decimal and scientific notation.

Big Idea

Engage students in a collaborative card match activity that applies decimal and scientific notion to estimate lengths of common objects.

Whole Class Discussion

15 minutes

Spend about 15 minutes in a whole class discussion about what was learned as outlined on page T-8 of the teacher guide.  Students completed posters on the previous day, so I have reviewed the work overnight and selected several posters for the group discussion based on very specific criteria.  I like to select posters who show different connections with card set C for example.  The arrow card x3 in set C may have two different locations it could be placed and if I have two posters that show using it in each location, then I either put these under the document camera or prior to class take pictures with my iPad and upload the images.  We discuss which poster is correct.  I have even told students at the end of day 2 to login to that night to view these images and posted questions because their homework would be to post reactions to the questions and we used the student responses during class for this whole-class discussion time.  However you choose to lead this discussion, make the student samples chosen deliberate and with purpose to the conversation.  Do not turn this time into an answer checking time where students peel up cards and  make everything perfect.



Discussing Guiding Questions

10 minutes

The teacher guide on page T-8 tells you to post the guiding questions you developed from the pre-assessment and allow students to think about them as they complete the post assessment.  For my advanced students this strategy works well, however for my struggling students this strategy does not work well.  I find it more beneficial for struggling students to actually discuss these questions as a whole group.  I usually allow students time in groups to discuss and even make notes about each question before we discuss as a class.  Again, they have been sitting through a whole class discussion already for about 15 minutes and for attention span reasons, you need to give them a task to do on their own.  Allow groups 5 – 10 minutes to brainstorm group answers to each guiding question before you discuss them as a whole class.  The whole group time will be minimized, students will be more engaged, and you will have a greater percentage of participation in the discussion.

Completing the Post Assessment

25 minutes

Page T-8 outlines how to administer the post assessment located on page S-5 of the student resources.  Again, students are to complete this assessment individually and answer all questions to the best of their ability.  You may need to clarify the directions on ranking values again but other than that resist the urge to help students.  Since you are instructed to give students back the pre-assessment as they complete the post assessment, I ask everyone to staple both assessments together and turn them in when the post assessment is completed.  When analyzing post assessments you are looking for student growth as well as area that are still common misconceptions.  Any areas of common misconception still need time and attention during following class period before the unit assessment.  Sometimes, I spend the following class period in small groups and I use the post assessment to group students by misconception and I design one lesson for each misconception and students work together to complete the activity that addresses their area of need.  I move between groups providing very direct feedback to move the groups forward. 


I also pass back the student assessments and we discuss a few questions that were common problems for the group.  Students want to know how they performed because it contributes to their ability to self-assess and take ownership of their own learning.

I am also including a sample of pre and post assessment work from the same student who completed this same activity in my classroom last year.  The goal of these assessments is to show growth through completing the activity.  The post assessment may not be perfect, but it should be improved from the pre-assessment.