Students learn to simplify complex-looking exponential expressions, and they learn efficient ways to describe, communicate, and operate with very large and very small numbers.
In Unit 1, eighth grade students learn how complex-looking expressions and very large or small numbers can be represented in simpler ways. Through investigation, students discover ways to write equivalent exponential expressions, and then formalize their understanding of these strategies into properties of exponents. Later in the unit, they learn efficient ways to describe, communicate, and operate with very large and very small numbers. Though there are many procedural elements in this unit, underneath these procedures are strong conceptual understandings. Throughout the unit, students look for structures and patterns that exist in exponential terms and powers of ten, and use those structures and patterns to make generalizations (MP.7 and MP.8).
In sixth grade, students wrote and evaluated expressions with exponents using the order of operations. They identified the parts of an expression, distinguishing a term from a factor from a coefficient. In eighth grade, students expand on these skills to go beyond just evaluation. They are presented with exponentials such as $$\frac{3^{16}}{3^4}$$ or $$(x^2y)^5$$ and are asked to simplify them or represent them in equivalent ways. In this way, students hone their abilities to manipulate algebraic expressions, which they will continue to do in future units in eighth grade. In fourth and fifth grades, students investigated patterns in powers of ten and how those patterns related to place value. In this unit, students will access these prior concepts and use them in representing and working with very large and small numbers.
In high school, students will need a strong understanding of exponents and exponent properties. They will apply the properties of exponents to exponential equations in order to reveal new understandings of the relationship. They will work with fractional exponents and discover the properties of rational exponents and rational numbers. In general, students’ ability to see the structure in an expression will support them in manipulating quadratic functions, operating with polynomials, and making connections between various relationships.
Pacing: 19 instructional days (15 lessons, 3 flex days, 1 assessment day)
For guidance on adjusting the pacing for the 2021-2022 school year, see our 8th Grade Scope and Sequence Recommended Adjustments.
This assessment accompanies Unit 1 and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.
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exponential expression
base
exponent
power
scientific notation
properties of exponents
standard form/decimal form
To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our 8th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.
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To see more information about the materials in this unit, view the Unit Materials Overview.
Key: Major Cluster Supporting Cluster Additional Cluster
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