Number Systems

Properties, and Operations

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How can this connect to the Classroom?

Related Common Core Math standards:

CCSS.Math.Content.5.NBT.A.1
Recognize that in a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left.

CCSS.Math.Content.5.NBT.A.2
Explain patterns in the number of zeros of the product when multiplying a number by powers of 10, and explain patterns in the placement of the decimal point when a decimal is multiplied or divided by a power of 10. Use whole-number exponents to denote powers of 10.

Possible Points for Implementation:

  • As students learn about how our number system works, I can use information about the ancient Egyptian Number systems for hieroglyphics (long hand for carving on stone) and hieratics (short hand for writing on the Papyrus) to help students appreciate the simplicity of our number systems.
  • Important differences between Ancient Egyptian and our modern number system:
-Egyptian number systems required the repetition of symbols to represent numbers.
-The Heretic system required less repetition, but used 36 different symbols.
-Because they had a symbol for every multiple of 10, 100, and 1000, they had no need for 0 as a place holder.

In class students can be given a chart of Egyptian numbers and be asked to write number in Egyptian writing or translate Egyptian writing into our modern number system.
Points of discussion will include the limitations and problems presented by this number system.