Planning tool
Year levels
Strands
Expected level of development
Australian Curriculum Mathematics V9: AC9M9M02
Numeracy Progression: Measuring time: P5
At this level, students are introduced to expressing numbers in scientific form. This descriptor applies scientific form specifically to time. Students require a good understanding of place value and powers of 10. Students should know where the notation is used and be able to estimate and round correctly. The term ‘significant figures’ should be compared to and contrasted with ‘decimal places’.
Discussing the significance of scientific form in a historical context (e.g. slide rules, logarithmic computation) may assist students in understanding how and why this form was developed.
Teaching and learning summary:
 Revise knowledge of index laws.
 Revise knowledge of significant figures.
 Revise knowledge of place value.
 Introduce the vocabulary of large and small place values in the decimal system, for example, kilo, mega, tera, giga, micro and nano.
Students will:
 write numbers in scientific form
 understand the reason for using standard form
 use numbers in scientific form in calculations.
Some students may:
 confuse the term ‘significant figures’ with decimal places or the number of digits required.
 find interpreting the display on a calculator that appears in significant form challenging.
Help students to understand that a number in scientific form is often an approximation of the true value.
The Learning from home activities are designed to be used flexibly by teachers, parents and carers, as well as the students themselves. They can be used in a number of ways including to consolidate and extend learning done at school or for home schooling.
Learning intention
 We are expanding knowledge of place value and powers of 10.
 We are revising knowledge of significant figures and rounding.
 We are learning about very large and very small numbers.
Why are we learning about this?
 Sometimes a number is too large or too small to write. Mathematicians use a form of shorthand to express such numbers. You may see this on your calculator when the number is too long to fit on the display.
 Time can be measured in very small units such as nanoseconds (10^{–9}).
 In sciences such as space and biology, there are occasions when very large distances or very small viruses need to be measured.
What to do
Very large and very small numbers
 Open the resource Very large and very small numbers. This resource describes what is scientific notation, or standard form, and how it is used to represent very large and very small numbers in a convenient way.
 Work through the student resources that include worked examples and problems for you to try.
Standard index form matching game
 Open the game Standard index form matching.
 Match the numbers and their standard index form. Write down the matched pairs, or screen capture your results. Explain how you worked out the matched pairs. Refer to an example.
 Can you beat the clock? There are different levels for you to try.
Success criteria
 I can recognise a number written in standard form.
 I can write a number in standard form.
 I can round a number to a given number of significant figures.
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Teaching strategies
A collection of evidencebased teaching strategies applicable to this topic. Note we have not included an exhaustive list and acknowledge that some strategies such as differentiation apply to all topics. The selected teaching strategies are suggested as particularly relevant, however you may decide to include other strategies as well.
Teaching resources
A range of resources to support you to build your student's understanding of these concepts, their skills and procedures. The resources incorporate a variety of teaching strategies.

Very large and very small numbers
Scientific notation, or standard form, is used to represent very large and very small numbers in a convenient manner.
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Scientific notation
In this series of lessons, students are introduced to the concept of expressing numbers in standard or scientific form. They go on to explore how to operate with and problemsolve numbers in scientific form.
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