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Topic: [PreAlgPoW] Scientific Notation Game - thoughts?
Replies: 2   Last Post: Jan 20, 2003 6:23 PM

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Suzanne Alejandre

Posts: 2,363
Registered: 12/3/04
[PreAlgPoW] Scientific Notation Game - thoughts?
Posted: Jan 20, 2003 1:58 PM
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Yesterday we decided to add a little more explanation at the beginning
of the Scientific Notation Game hoping to clarify the rules of the
game. When we were writing the problem this was something that we
discussed quite a bit. Sometimes there is a fine line between giving
too little information and giving too much information. I think we may
have erred on the side of too little information this time!

Students seem to be having a difficult time with this problem. We've
noticed this because of the number of submissions so far and also the
quality of the submissions. We've had students submit questions to the
Math Forum's general "help" link and also to the Teacher2Teacher
service! Each time I've responded giving a bit more info on the
example but I'm not sure if it's really been helping.

I'm really curious if anyone has ideas about this. Is the topic of
scientific notation not familiar enough to a student at the
pre-algebra level and that's why they're having so much difficulty?
Was it the idea of a game that made things too confusing?

Actually, we developed this idea from a FunPoW that we ran earlier
this school year called The Place Value Game:

http://mathforum.org/funpow/solutions/solution.ehtml?puzzle=203

I wonder if students might find playing that game helpful?

Any thoughts you might share about this week's problem would be
appreciated. We're always interested in how you think we might improve
our problems to help students learn more and understand more about
mathematics.

Thank you!
Suzanne





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