Program Flyer: How Much Is a Million? — Place Value and Exponents Come to Life (CCSS and STEM-aligned)

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Contact Information
David Schwartz
302 Pondside Drive
White Plains, NY  10607
Phone: (510) 788-6272
Program Title
How Much Is a Million? — Place Value and Exponents Come to Life (CCSS and STEM-aligned)
Program Type
Individual Program
Program Rating
  based on 4 evaluation(s).
Target Audience
Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5Public Library: Library Patrons
Maximum Number of Participants
Minimum Number of Participants
Primary Disciplines
Program Description
Just how much is a million? How does it compare with a thousand … or a billion? What do all those zeros really mean? How can we write big numbers in more efficiently (with exponents)? How can fractions and decimals be understood through exponents? And what use are these numbers anyway? The author of How Much Is a Million? and over 50 other math and science books uses an abundance of props and personal stories to make essential math concepts come alive in the classroom. He talks about how he turned his own childhood curiosities into books, and he encourages children to ask questions and pursue answers using math as a tool to understand the world.
Program Format
1. The program begins with humorous stories to illustrate the author’s lifelong curiosity about numbers, especially big numbers, and how important they are in everyone’s life.
2. We then look at a few of the author’s non-fiction books from the perspective of how math connects to books and to the real world, and how an author can tie the two together.
3. Using props and the storyline of his book On Beyond a Million, David shows how to understand our number system in a way that children (and teachers) find fascinating and suspenseful. He develops the concept of exponents and place value in a tangible way that correlates with Common Core standards. If appropriate to the audience, he shows why it makes sense that, paradoxically, 10^0 = 1.
4. If time allows (or the coordinator requests), David shows how fractions, decimals and division relate to each other by negative exponents (again using visuals and props).
5. If time allows (or coordinator requests), David will demonstrating the power of exponential growth in order to appreciate the enormity of large numbers like googol (10^100). The method draws on students’ everyday experience in a way they can understand.
Participants will gain understanding of:
1. Place value in a visual and memorable way
2. The concept of exponents in an equally visual way, and use of expanded notation to denote them
3. The power of exponential growth

Participants will gain an appreciation of
1. the value of curiosity about their world
2. the value of math as a tool to understand the world (and the mathematical connection to science)
3. math as an enjoyable activity and useful activity, not dry drudgery

Participants will be encouraged to mimic the author’s process by researching and mathematically exploring examples of their own, deriving from this program and the author’s books as mentor texts.
National/Common Core Standards to which this program aligns
CCSS, p. 27, Grade 4: Mathematics
• P. 27 (1): “Students generalize their understanding of place value to 1,000,000, understanding the relative sizes of numbers in each place.”

• p. 29: Number and Operations in Base Ten 4.NBT
Generalize place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers
1. Recognize that in a multi-digit whole number, a digit in one place represents ten times what it represents in the place to the right.
2. Read and write multi-digit whole numbers using base ten-numerals, number names, and expanded form. Compare two-multi-digit numbers based on meanings of the digits in each place, using >,=, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons.
3. Use place value understanding to round multi-digit whole numbers to any place.

2. CCSS, pp. 34-35, Grade 5
• P. 35: Number and Operations in Base Ten 5.NBT
1. Recognize that in a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents to its left.

CCSS Mathematical Process Standards
1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively
4. Model with mathematics
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Text, “Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details. Summarize the text”
CCSS Writing Standards: “Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly”
State/Regional Standards to which this program aligns
Program Length
Flexible, but recommend 45 min. with an extra 15 min. available
Program Cost
By Request: $300.00
By Request Premium: $270.00
Program Fee Notes
Cancellation Policy
We make every effort to re-book in the event of school being closed for snow day or other unplanned event. (No penalty in that case.) Aside from school closures, a cancellation that cannot be rebooked by both parties will result in a $100 fee if it comes more than 48 hours before the scheduled event, $150 if it comes less than 48 hours in advance.
Is recording allowed?

Program Delivery Mode(s)
Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)

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For additional assistance, phone 507-388-3672.

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