Dyslexia: Convert between standard and scientific notation from the gr9 Math curriculum in Ontario

For Parent

Converting between Standard and Scientific Notation with Dyslexia

Converting between standard and scientific notation can be a challenging concept to understand for many students, especially those with dyslexia. Standard and scientific notation use the same basic equation to represent very large or very small numbers. In fact, it looks like this:

the equation

A x 10B = C

In this equation, A and B are standard numbers such as 234 or -7, and C is a number represented in scientific notation (scientific numbers are much larger or much smaller than standard numbers).

An example

For example:

345 x 103 = 345000

In this equation, A is 345, B is 3, and C is 345000. The number 345 is multiplied by 103, which is the same as multiplying 345 by 1000.

Issues with Dyslexia

For 14-year-olds with dyslexia, understanding and mastering converting between standard and scientific notation can be especially challenging. Here are three things that parents and teachers can do to help:

Problem 1: Difficulty Keeping Track of Placement

Dyslexic students may struggle to keep track of what numbers go where in the standard-versus-scientific notation equation. To help them with this, give them concrete examples of the equation in action. Use materials like charts and diagrams to help them learn and understand the concept.

Problem 2: Struggling to Arithmetic

Students with dyslexia may find basic arithmetic difficult. This may involve difficulty with multiplying or dividing large and small numbers when dealing with standard and scientific equations. Support their weaknesses in this area by providing extra assistance with basic arithmetic, or by having them practice with addition and multiplication tables.

Problem 3: Confusing Symbols on the Page

Many dyslexic students have difficulty reading symbols, such as the ones used in convert between standard and scientific notation equations. To help them learn the symbols, use real-life examples. Rather than just numbers, give them examples of actual objects, such as cars or blocks of wood.


A x 10B = C


What is 232 x 103 = ?


232 x 103 = 232000

For Youth

Hey there! I am here to help explain Converting between standard and scientific notation in grade 9 math. This seems like it could be a bit tricky but here is the good news – I will help break it down into easy steps and you can practice a little bit at a time.

First, lets talk about Standard Notation. In Standard Notation, we write numbers using digits and commas for numbers with four or more digits in it. For example, the number 5,000 would be written like this 5,000.

Now let’s talk about Scientific Notation. In Scientific Notation, we write numbers as a number between 1 and 10 (which we can call an “a”) and then a number of 10 to some power. This power will be the number of times we need to multiply 10 by itself to get that number. For example, the number 5,000 written in scientific notation would be written like this 5 x 10³. This means that 5 x 10 x 10 x 10 (or 5 x 1000) is equal to 5,000.

To help you with this concept, here are some ideas that might help:
1. Try writing the numbers first in Standard Notation and then convert to Scientific Notation.
2. See if you can break numbers down into parts. For example, if you have 5,000, break that down to 5 x 1000 or 5 x 10 x 10 x 10. This can help you to see how to create the Scientific Notation for that number.
3. Practice, practice, practice! Just like with any new skill, it can be helpful to practice and memorize a few examples so that you can more easily convert between standard and scientific notation.

I know that this can be a tough concept but remember to keep practicing and you will get it! You got this!