Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Powers and Exponents

I am LOVING my math notebooks this year!  I know it's only the third week, but we have used them almost every day so far and I have a great lesson planned for tomorrow using them to review powers and exponents. 
 
Most of my students have worked with exponents before, but I have a few sixth graders that didn't cover it in their fifth grade classes last year. Because of that, and because I have some lower level students as well, I wanted to give them some notes to refer back to later.  I wrote them out at first, and then realized how long it would take for my students to copy it all down.  Since I have quite a few things to get through, I didn't want to spend the entire class copying notes - so, I decided to type them up ahead of time.  I know this isn't a brand new idea, and I've done this before - but I used fun graphics and a different font, and....  well, I know I'm a bit of a dork.  Anyways, here is a picture of the notes I made - we will fill in the charts together at the bottom, and may highlight some of the vocabulary terms.  If you would like a copy of this, click here!
 
 
I also decided I wanted something more interactive, so I went searching on the internet, and found this amazing idea from To A Square Inch.  You take a stip of construction paper, and fold it like an accordian - make sure you fold it the number of your exponent, plus one.  This will create the correct number of faces for you to write the power, each factor in expanded form, and the answer.  Then, write it in.  I'm hoping this will help my students make the connection that powers are NOT the base times the exponent. On the back, we will write how you read each power.
 
Exponent Foldable - Front
 
Exponent Foldable - Back
 
Exponent Foldable
 
Another Example
 
I loved the idea, but I really wanted something that could be added to the notebook - and then I remembered something I saw on pintrest this summer where you make a pocket to glue into the notebook, and put your foldables inside of it.  This is my cute little pocket I made! I think I scared my neighbor teacher a little with how excited I was about this pocket - and possibly my hubby too.  I haven't been very creative or cutesy in the past with my self-made resources but I'm trying to change that this year!
 
Exponent Card Pocket - So excited about this!
 
I'm very excited about how my notebooks are coming along - and that I'm doing so well with my goal to use them.  I haven't used stations yet, but I've scheduled a day next week to attempt them!  I will let everyone know how that goes!
 
What do you think about my newest addition to our math notebooks?  What are some things you love to do in your notebooks?
 
~Brittany~ 

10 comments:

  1. What a great and CUTE visual :)

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  2. Usually, a power is represented with a base number and an exponent. The base number tells what number is being multiplied. The exponent, a small number written above and to the right of the base number, tells how many times the base number is being multiplied.

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    1. Thank you for commenting! Yes, that is a big misconception among my students and other students as well! Prior to this activity we used the freyer model for vocabulary and I made sure to point out the difference between the two. It was also in the diagram in the notes I gave them. I did make a mistake with the pocket - it should be power cards instead of exponent cards but I didn't catch it until my last class was gluing them into their notebooks but we all make mistakes. It's something I would definitely change for next year though. :)

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  3. Thank you so much! I used your notes with my 6th graders today. They completed a lesson on exponents with base 10 a few weeks ago, so this was perfect to reintroduce the concept. I also borrowed your pocket idea for the Foldables! Thank you for sharing your ideas!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Lindsey! I'm so glad you found something you were able to use! It made my day to see that someone else found a use for something I made!

      ~Brittany~

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  4. I love your blog- especially the name! I look forward to adapting your ideas in our homeschool ;)

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  5. This is my first time teaching exponents and I am a little dorky just like you. I want to take that extra step to make sure my kids get it. I loved all your ideas and am planning on using them to teach exponents tomorrow. Thank you so very much for sharing. God Bless:

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  6. I like your pocket! Which type of glue have you found to hold best?

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  7. Great ideas! Many thanks, Brittany!

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Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment! I look forward to reading what you're thinking!

~Brittany~