The Digital Scientific Notation Worksheet

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SWBAT review and self-assess their understanding of scientific notation concepts and skills.

Big Idea

Students benefit from the opportunity to practice solving a wide variety of questions.

Start Up

5 minutes

Today's lesson offers students a chance to self-assess their understanding. The lesson employs a Digital_Worksheet to allow students independence, provide challenging tasks, and embed learning resources. Through the worksheet, I offer students a series of  practice questions online. I have also planned follow up questions for the end of the lesson to assess student progress.

The learning supports provided on the Digital Worksheet include video help as well as answers. As students work I circulate and intervene with 1-on-1 support. I encourage students to take notes as they work, and, to ask questions when they need help. I motivate students by saying, "I want you to use this time to be ready for whatever questions I ask on today's for an Exit Ticket." 

The Digital Worksheet

35 minutes

Since many of questions are more basic scientific notation questions, I tend to use this assessment early in my scientific notation unit. However, from year to year, this may change and I might choose to use it closer to a summative assessment, perhaps as a warm up. 

Before beginning, I ask students to get their pen or pencil and a piece of paper out. As they do this I hand out laptop computers so students can access the worksheet electronically. If any students require a printed copy (for whatever reason), I print out the worksheet for them. 

The worksheet itself can be found on this link:  (Accessed May 5 2014)

I've also included a pdf image of the The Digital Worksheet - Scientific Notation file as a resource for this section of the lesson.

My instructions are straight forward: 

  1. Solve each question and show your work on paper. 
  2. Submit your answers online (I create self grading Google Forms so the students can see how they did)
  3. Create a question that is based on but slightly more difficult than a question from this worksheet. 


10 minutes

During I lesson like this, I also plan some time to review how the assessment went. I structure the time to go deeper than right and wrong answers. I introduce it to students as a time to share their ideas. I say something like, "What ideas did you have as you worked on these problems? What observations? What did you discover? Remember?" 

For example, consider the Temperature_of_the_Sun_Problem. The temperature of the sun is stated to be 27 million degrees.  I want students to recognize why the answer is 2.7 x 10^7 and not 27 x 10^6. I also want them to recognize that these two expressions are equal. I would also ask them to be able to extend this idea to other equivalent numerical expressions.

.27 x 10^8

.027 x 10^9

.0027 x 10^10

and so forth...

Ultimately, my idea is to use each question as an opportunity for reflection, and to promote meaningful reflection as a mathematical practice (MP3). 

Exit Ticket

10 minutes

For this lesson's Exit Ticket, I ask students to create a question that is slightly more difficult, but based upon, one of the questions from the worksheet. After students write their questions, I pick 5 that I like and show them to the class. I give students about 1-2 minutes to answer each question. I collect the students answers to these 5 questions at the end of class.  

Teaching Note: I highly recommend giving this idea a shot. Student created questions are always fun to read and will make the members of your class a contributing member of the assessment process.