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Decimals and Scientific Notation, Grades 7 – 12

When students do not get place value, especially to the right of the decimal point, how can they make any sense of scientific notation? Participants will use base ten blocks to model numbers on both sides of the decimal point and write those numbers in standard form, in various expanded forms, and in scientific notation. During the activities we will clearly see (and touch) that negative exponents usually indicate really small, not below zero.