An Introduction to Real Numbers | Formative Assessment in Mathematics

September 6, 2013

an introduction to real numbers

Real numbers are all numbers that can be represented in a number line and include all rational numbers like integers, fractions and decimals and include all irrational numbers.

Let us look at a few pointers for a formative assessment activity for CBSE, class 10 in which students get an introduction to real numbers.

  1. Preparing a presentation on the evolution of the number system, from counting numbers to real numbers: In an introduction to real numbers, students need to first appreciate how the number system has evolved from counting with fingers to the concept of real numbers.  They can do this in their own creative way in the form of a pictorial representation, a presentation, etc.  The presentation can begin with areas like counting with fingers to the common practice of using sticks to count to the discovery of 0 and use of it as a symbol to the development of the place value system.  They can then talk about whole numbers, natural numbers negative numbers, integers, fractions, rational numbers and irrational numbers to finally the evolution of the concept of the real number.
  2. Using Blocks to Demonstrate Properties of Real Numbers: Students can then use a set of blocks to give simple examples of properties of real numbers.   For example, for the commutative property of addition, a + b = b + a, the simple example 2 + 3 = 3 + 2 can be represented with blocks.  Similarly, the other properties can be demonstrated with respective “block” examples or any other creative way.  This will further help students internalize and remember the properties of real numbers.
  3. Playing Real Number Games: Students can then play real number games like forming a human number line with each student representing a number.  They can make it very memorable and innovative and review all types of real numbers from integers to irrational numbers.   Students can also play games involving the properties of real numbers using cards with a property or example written and matching the same.

With the help of formative assessment activities as an introduction in the learning of real numbers, students will find the learning of the topic interesting as well as memorable and will remember and establish the learning of the concept in a better manner.

photo credit: gfinder via photopin cc

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