Math = Love: Significant Figure Stations

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Significant Figure Stations

Today, I want to share the stations I prepared for my students to use to practice significant figures.  This is my first time using stations where different students are doing different activities at the same time.  It was great and entirely chaotic!    

I set up 5 stations for my students to work through.  I expected my students to be able to work through all 5 stations in one fifty-minute period, but it ended up taking two fifty-minute periods for my students to finish all five stations.

The first station was a set of looping cards.  I found these cards online on TES.  I changed the font, edited the table so each card would be the exact same size, and modified the wording of a few of the questions.  My updated version can be found here.  

Even with the written instructions, my students had trouble getting started with this station.  With most groups, once I showed them how to figure out the first couple of cards they seemed to catch on quickly.

The next station featured fifteen cards.  Each card has a number that has anywhere from one to five significant figures.  Students didn't know this, but there were three cards with one significant figure, three cards with two significant figures, etc.

Here are the cards in action:

Students needed to sort the cards by smallest number of significant figures to largest number of significant figures.

This was a simple station, but it quickly revealed some student misunderstandings.  You can find the file for this activity here.

The next station features a puzzle that can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers.  

Students had to assemble these 12 pieces into a 3 x 4 so that the edge of each piece is touching the edge of another piece that has the exact same number of significant figures.  

Some of my students had a really hard time wrapping their mind around how this puzzle worked.  Others raced through it.

This next station was one of my favorites!
Students had to write two truths and a lie involving significant figures using construction paper and markers.  Before the quiz on the next day, students looked at each set of two truths and a lie and tried to determine which was the lie.

I wrote a blog post earlier that has pictures of the various truths and lies they came up with.  You can find that here.

My new document camera from Ipevo came in super handy to display each student's work for the rest of the class to see.

The last station gave students practice performing arithmetic with significant figures.  

Somehow I managed to not take a single picture of my students working at this station.  

Here are the 10 questions students were asked to work through:

This station is the one my students struggled with the most.  I had to keep directing them back to their notes over and over and over.  The file for this activity is uploaded here.

While helping students through the stations, I continually directed students to look at the posters I had hung on our back cabinets to help remind us of the rules for significant figures.  I have blogged about these posters and uploaded the files for them here.


Looking for more significant figures activities?  I've also posted some Significant Figures Speed Dating Cards here.  


  1. Hi, great posts here! Can you recommend a math worksheet generator that permits publishing for commercial use? I am currently using School Tech, which allows this but I need something that fully covers Algebra.

  2. I absolutely love your blog. Your ideas are fantastic! How do you find time to blog during/after the school day?!

  3. Check out
    You can make your own tarsia puzzles. I just discovered it and I love it!

  4. Good Morning,

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this idea. I absolutely love the different stations. I have a couple of questions though.
    1. Do you grade this stationed worked and if so how do you grade it? On participation or on correctness?
    2. How do you crowd control and make sure the students are actually doing the task at hand?
    3. How do you separate the students in groups for these stationed activities?

    I apologize for all the questions but I would love to see how you fully went about this.
    Thank you again.