Formative Assessment: Scientific Notation

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SWBAT to show their understanding of operations with and expressions of scientific notation.

Big Idea

Students will demonstrate their knowledge on this formative assessment covering the major concepts of scientific notation including expressions and operations.

Warm Up

10 minutes

For today's Warm Up, I wanted to provide one last exposure to concepts that would be included in today's test.  Writing numbers in scientific notation and standard form as well as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing were included.  As students "coached" me how to solve, I was intentional about calling their attention to common mistakes, like forgetting to erase their original decimal point when writing numbers in standard form.  

After reviewing each problem, I asked students to give me their learning scale (5=could teach someone this, 4= understand this concept, 3=starting to understand, 2= understand a little, 1=don't understand at all) to get a sense of student's efficacy for each problem type.  As expected, most students scaled themselves high on the lower level questions, but much lower (3, 2, 1) on the higher level questions (e.g., performing operations in scientific notation with unlike exponents). I made note on my clipboard as to which students would benefit from tutorial time (held two days per week during Advisory- first 35 minutes of each day).

Formative Assessment: Scientific Notation

35 minutes

Today's formative assessment was created as a common assessment by the team of 8th grade math teachers at my school.

As is with most tests, we intentionally include questions covering previously tested objectives (rational/irrational numbers and rules of exponents). This "spiral" approach reminds students that they do not have permission to forget anything they have learned previously.  It also gives students another attempt to show mastery of objectives they may have missed in previous tests.

We organized this assessment with five review questions followed by ten scientific notation questions ordered by complexity.  Once the assessments are graded, we each bring our item analysis (e.g. most commonly missed questions) to the next team meeting to discuss.  We use this data to make any needed changes in either the assessment or our curriculum for the future.

As always, if students finish the assessment before time is called, they are allowed to work on their weekly homework, work on optional challenge problems, or read for pleasure.