Problem Solving with Scientific Notation Part I

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SWBAT perform operations with numbers expressed in scientific notation including problems where both decimal and scientific notation are used.

Big Idea

Now that students have practiced basic operations (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing) with bare numbers expressed in scientific notation, they are ready to solve problems within a real-world context, especially with a new strategy in their tool

Warm Up

7 minutes

For today's Warm Up assignment, I've selected three problems with varying operations so that students must recall which strategy to apply to solve each. As students work, I continually wander through the class looking for students who may need additional support. Once the timer sounds after 5 minutes, I call the class together to come to consensus on the answers.

During consensus, student volunteers come to the board to explain their thinking as they work. I then ask for confirmation of the student's work or for other volunteers who found differing answers. We work through the problems until the class is in agreement about the answers.

Learning Objective

1 minutes

After coming to consensus during Warm Up, I share the day's Learning Objective with the class. I explain that today, we will be solving word problems using a variety of operations.

CUBES Strategy

2 minutes

Next, I introduce problem-solving strategy (often used with close reading) called CUBES. CUBES is an acronym for the steps students use to solve word problems. Students must circle the numbers in the problem, underline the question, box the important words, eliminate the extra information and then solve the problem.

I have created a three-dimensional cube that includes the steps on each of the sides. One is in color, which I have made to show the class. Another is black-and-white and can be given to the students to construct, although I do not take the time to do that today.

Once students have been introduced to the CUBES strategy, I provide some word problems on which to apply this new strategy.

Let's Practice!

16 minutes

During Lets Practice, I provide students four word problems on which to try out their new CUBES strategy. I select student volunteers to help me model each step in the process. That way, students see how to apply the strategy, which we do as a whole-class activity.

Work Time

18 minutes

Once we finish practicing our strategy, I introduce today's Work Time assignment, which is to create two word problems for their partner to solve using the CUBES strategy. I provide them with a table of Planets that includes both the distance from the sun as well as the planet's diameter. I ask students to record their problems in their journals. Once both partners have written questions, they exchange journals and apply the CUBES strategy to solve. When the timer sounds after 18 minutes, I reveal today's closure activity.

Turn & Tell

1 minutes

For today's lesson closure, I use "Turn and Tell", where I ask one student (the tallest in this case) to explain the CUBES acronym to his/her partner. Then, I ask the other student to reciprocate, so that they each have the opportunity to recall the CUBES strategy before leaving class.