Dyslexia: Compare numbers written in scientific notation from the gr9 Math curriculum in Ontario

For Parent

Scientific Notation:

Scientific notation is a way to represent large and small numbers easily. It involves writing a number as the product of a coefficient and an expression containing a base number raised to a power. For example, the number 100 can be written in scientific notation as 10^2.

Understanding the Equation

When solving equations written in scientific notation you must first convert the number to ordinary notation. To do this you should multiply the coefficient by the base number raised to the power of the exponent. For example, the equation 8.2 x 10^3 would be 8.2 x 1000, which equals 8200 when simplified.

Issues for a 14 year old with Dyslexia

1. Difficult to remember the meaning of the exponents: Raising a number to a power is an important concept when it comes to understanding scientific notation, and students with Dyslexia may find it difficult to remember exactly what it means.

2. Difficulty understanding the equation: Students with Dyslexia may find it difficult to understand the mathematical equation and concept, which can make it hard for them to solve the equation.

3. Making mistakes: Students with Dyslexia can find it hard to identify and correct mistakes due to difficulty reading and interpreting the equation.

Guidance and Support

1. Help your child build a strong foundation in mathematical concepts such as powers, so they have a better understanding of scientific notation: Introduce your child to basic concepts of maths by exploring real life situations, so that they can understand the equation in a more contextual way.

2. Encourage your child to check their work: Make it a habit for your child to always check their work for correct calculations and understanding of the equation.

3. Give your child examples and plenty of practice: Provide your child with plenty of examples that they can work through, in order to help them understand the equation and their solution.

Scientific Notation Equation

Scientific notation takes the form: A x 10^n

For example: What is 0.0042 written in scientific notation?

Answer: 0.0042 in scientific notation is 4.2 x 10^-3

For Youth

Comparing numbers written in scientific notation is an important mathematics skill. Scientific notation is a way of writing numbers that has an exponential part. Let me explain:

In scientific notation, a number is written in the form of a x 10^b. ‘a’ is the number part and ’10^b’ is the exponential part.

So for example, if we want to write the number 7,500 in scientific notation, we can write it as 7.5 x 10^3.

This means 7.5 is multiplied by 10 to the power of 3, which in traditional formatting is 7,500.

To compare two numbers written in scientific format, we would look at the “a” number first. In other words, the number that comes before 10^b.

Let’s use an example. If we have 3.2 x 10^2 and 4.7 x 10^2, we’d look at the “a” number. The first number is 3.2, and the second number is 4.7. These numbers tell us that 4.7 is larger than 3.2.

Now, if the “a” numbers are equal, then we look at the exponential part. In the example above, both “a” numbers are equal. So we would now look at the exponent.

In this example the two exponent parts are both 2, so the numbers of 3.2 x 10^2 and 4.7 x 10^2 are equal.

To help you understand this better, remember that the “a” number always tells you which number is bigger, and the exponential part tells you if the two numbers are equal.

If you need help with understanding this concept, try breaking down the equation and looking at it one step at a time. Writing it down on paper and using visual imagery to show the equation in a diagram can also help.