Standard Form Resources

Some resources for standard form:

I have been interested in Astronomy since discovering Patrick Moore’s books in the library as a child so enjoyed Richard Byrne’s post on resources to help students understand the size of the universeI particularly like 100,000 Stars, a visualization of the 100,000 stars closest to Earth. All those lovely big numbers in Astronomy are excellent for teaching Standard Form; I wrote some time ago on the excellent mathematics resources available from NASA, see this on Scientific notation for example.

Staying with Astronomy, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich has some outstanding resources on TES, including Scales of the Universe (KS4 – age 14-16)

From the excellent Standards Unit, N4 on Estimating Length Using Standard Form works very well as a class activity. (You can find all the Standards Unit Resources here).

From Nrich, two activities on Standard Form.

Teachit Maths though a subscription site offers its entire collection of activities as pdfs for  free. I have found many high quality resources here for all ages. – try these on Standard Form.

From TES Resources – an extensive collection of (free) Standard Form Resources, note the 5 star reviews for many resources.

For the start or end of a lesson (or any time!), you could try some Diagnostic questions on Standard FormI created a Standard Form Quiz from these questions.

 (See these posts for more information on the excellent Diagnostic Questions site).

A site with plenty of big numbers is Is That A BIG NUMBER?

(Post on Is That A BIG NUMBER)is-that-a-big-numb8r

Students could be shown how to check their work on WolframAlpha
standard-form WolframAlpha syntax

and finally some more great links including some rather good animations:

Scale of the universe. 

Magnifying the Universe

Secret Worlds: The Universe Within

You can find lots of data with very large numbers using Gapminder

Staying with world statistics, you could try Jonny Griffiths’ World-wide Statistics task from his Making Statistics Vital. You could use the figures from his spreadsheet – write the numbers in Standard Form and explore some real world Statistics at the same time.

Some happy discoveries this week…

Desmos domain and sliders

Desmos polar curve, click on the image to experiment.

My favourite graphing calculator as regular readers will know is the outstanding Desmos graphing calculator. Preparing some resources for my Further Mathematicians I realised that one can use a slider within a domain thus making it possible to show the curve being traced out, particularly useful for polar graphs but also for any curves. (There are some useful resources on polar curves here for students including some further Desmos pages).

Quadratic (sliders in domain)

Desmos quadratic, select the image to experiment.

Experimenting with a quadratic graph, I have plotted some points and can then draw the curve through these points.

Have a look at these excellent mathematics resources available from NASA, see this on Scientific notation for example.

NASA Mathematics Resources

With Curiosity Rover very much in the news this week, it seems a good time to highlight the educational resources available from NASA. Space Math @ NASA introduces students to the use of mathematics in todays scientific discoveries. The site includes Mathematics in the news – a look at the Mathematics involved in NASA press releases together with resources.

Note the Problem Books and Problem Archives which contain an extensive collection of problems. Several booklets are also available, see for example Exploring Space MathBooklets include introductory pages including a table showing the topics covered by each activity. Why not use some solar wind magnetism data when teaching directed numbers or use solar flares when looking at equations and substitution?

A-Z List of NASA Websites for Educators.