Exponents and Scientific Notation in a Building Thinking Classroom

My school uses the Open Up Resources 6-8th grade math curriculum by Illustrative Mathematics. I’m in the process of adapting Grade 8 Unit 7 to the “Building Thinking Classrooms” style. Mostly, this just requires re-formatting the questions. A few notes on how I’m implementing it:

  1. Warm Up: I chose to keep my Warm Up structure. The Warm Up is projected on the board when kids come in. They sit in their assigned seats and chat about it with their classmates. We do a quick share out, making sure to hit on the key points suggested by the curriculum. (~5 minutes)
  2. Launch: If needed, I launch the first activity, following the directions in the curriculum. (~2 minutes)
  3. Visibly Random Groups: I sort kids into groups of three using flippity and assign their spots around the room. (I’ve bookmarked each class and just shuffle three times in front of the kids.) ( ~2 minutes)
  4. White board Work: Each group works at their own pace, raising their hands when they are ready for the next level. I pass out the main activities first, followed by the “Are you ready for more?” problems. I also have a set of “visual patterns” on offer for groups that need more to work on; some of these are exponential, but not all. (~25-30 minutes)
  5. Synthesis: Kids share out their work which I have pre-selected based on the learning goals. We review the learning goals and synthesize the big ideas. (~8 min)
  6. Notes + Cool Down: Kids go back to their seats and take time to write notes to their “future forgetful self” and do the cool down. (~8 min)

The adapted materials: (A growing list. More soon!)

Notes to your Future Forgetful Self: (My 8th graders needed a lil’ structure to push them towards writing better notes.)

Extra visual pattern handouts for early finishers sourced from https://www.visualpatterns.org/.

Lesson 1: Exponent Review

Lesson 2: Multiplying Powers of Ten

Lesson 3: Powers of Powers of 10

Check Your Understanding Packet #1: For Lessons 1-3 using the practice problems.

Always happy to hear from readers!