Powers of Ten (Day 2)

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Students will be able to recognize, define, and use multiples of ten.

Big Idea

You mean I can get 10 times smaller too?


10 minutes

To open this lesson I show students a video that discusses powers of ten - from light years away to microscopic electrons. Using video in the classroom is an effective tool, if students are held accountable. By reviewing this video first, I'm prepared to stop and start the video in order to activate discussion and ask probing questions. I want my students to come away with a feeling for "the power" of ten.

After showing the video I ask students to make inferences about the math concepts that are covered in this clip.


20 minutes

I explain to students that the math concepts covered in the video will assist us in our understanding and mastering of our I can… statement from yesterday.

Let’s remind ourselves of the I can… statement.  I’ll say it, then you repeat.  I can explain patterns when multiplying a number by powers of 10.

Because the purpose of this lesson is to have students understand powers of ten, I focus on showing students how to divide tens as reciprocals instead of decimals.  Decimals are covered in future lessons within this unit and will be addressed in depth at that time.  Although fractions are also a difficult concept for students, I think the use of them in this is lesson is more effective.

I show students several examples of how to divide numbers by powers of ten.  For example, 1 / 102 = 1/100 (as a fraction).  Or, 64 / 103 = 64/1000 (as fraction).  I then ask students to work within their groups to ask each other questions similar to the ones that I just asked them.  I have the students use their whiteboards to record their responses that the group member is asking them.  I circulate the room and monitor for misconceptions while students are working. 


15 minutes

The end of this lesson is a worksheet, that I have students complete on their own. I will use it to check for overall understanding of powers of ten.  I found this sheet on the Math-Drills website.  Love it!  This worksheet incorporates both multiplying and dividing by powers of ten. 

I use the information gathered from correcting this worksheet to determine if further lessons are needed to deepen the students’ understanding of powers of ten.