I shared part 1 of our unit on exponents here.
I got most of my notes from Sarah’s blog. She also has a ton of activities on her blog here.
As I was writing this, I remembered this image that Heather shared from one of Sara’s presentations. I think this would be a GREAT way to introduce scientific notation next year. I’ve got to remember to do that!
The last couple years, I’ve used tables similar to those below to help students notice patterns.
Then we get into multiplying and dividing numbers in scientific notation.
I made this Desmos activity for practice.
The biggest thing my students struggle with at this point in the unit is when they multiply or divide and get a number that isn’t in scientific notation. Something like 64 x 10^6. They know the exponent will change by one, but many students get mixed up on whether it gets bigger or smaller. I always, “Don’t try to memorize a “shortcut”. Think about what 64 x 10^6 is. Write it out in standard form, and then convert it to scientific notation. Then you don’t have to try to memorize anything.” The students that listen and follow my advice, usually have no issues with this, but it’s the students who want to take a “shortcut” that end up not getting these problems correct. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has this issue!
I’ve got a couple Which One Doesn’t Belong? warm-ups for scientific notation. I know I pulled the second one from Twitter. I can’t remember who shared it. If it’s yours, please let me know so I can give you credit for it.
I’ve used this scavenger hunt as well. I like that it gets students up and moving around.
I created this worksheet for students to practice. (I think I created it. I may have modified it from somewhere. Again, if you recognize it, please let me know so I can give credit to who originally created it.) . You can download it here. I’ve created a few other worksheets of this format and like that it’s self checking for students.