Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Exponent Properties

If you haven't already, read this and this.  All caught up?  Ok great.

I didn't get too specific with lesson plans, but I did give my kids a general outline for their lesson.  They needed a do now, their rule and the explanation behind it, an ISN page, practice and assessment.  I'll break down what they did into these categories.

Oh let me also say that I wish I took more pictures.  I've been taking tons of pictures of everything we do this year and I should have taken more, but some days I was too caught up with the lesson and taking notes that I just forgot.  I'm pretty disappointed about this.


They all did a do now.  Most of them came in early before homeroom (this was first period & I have them for homeroom too) to set up their do now.

The zero exponent group gave this as a way to introduce their idea:

The power to a power group gave this (it's two problems and the ISN page headings for the day):

Both the multiplication group and the power to a power group gave do nows that used their rule, which had not been taught yet.  Now this is not something I usually do, but it was fantastic and really got me thinking that I should do more of it.

They had kids guess the answer and just told them yes or no.  Eventually someone did give the correct answer but when the kids asked why, they just told them that they'll go over it in the lesson.  Even though the majority weren't correct, it got them thinking about the topic which was awesome.


As far as teaching went, some kids had pre-prepared slides in my iPad that they wrote on.  Some wrote on the actual dry erase board.  Some used the iPad as a document camera to go through a completed version of the notes.  It was all completely different which was so cool.  Most of them had the kids write and then explained to them what they wrote.  

The most successful groups were ones where it seemed that they had a plan for who would talk when and where each kid had a role.  In most groups there was a kid or two that opted not to be a talker and instead they would circulate and help or work the projector/computer as the others talked.  In some groups kids tried to talk over top of each other and cut each other off and that didn't work so well.

Something I also realized I needed to remind them about was talking slowly.  In the beginning the groups talked pretty quickly and it seemed like as the week went on the other groups picked up on this and slowed down.

Now for the good stuff...

Zero Exponents: on the right is their rule and then underneath it is some additional tips.  The color coding on the notes was all them.  I LOVEEE the idea of highlighting the piece that will belongs to the zero exponent.  I'm stealing this.  On the left is some guided practice that they did in class and then a short quiz that they gave.

Negative Exponents: On the right is their rule and some specific case examples.  Some of the language could be improved upon so next time I need to make sure I go over with the groups exactly what they're going to good.  On the left side is some guided practice and the homework that they gave (evens only).  Something awesome is that I did not find that worksheet for them.  They must have googled for practice and found it online and it's perfect for their skill.

Multiplying Exponents: On the right is their foldable.  I think this is awesome and makes is clear that they had a very well thought out lesson.  The color coding is all them and is fabulous.  They showed two different ways to get the answer and gave the rule.  They even included the homework problems in there so they were prepared.  Bonus points for including smiley faces. :)  The left side was for the two homework problems..see I even did my homework!

Dividing Exponents: This lesson was really, but unfortunately I played the part of bad student. Something happened that pulled me into the hallway for about five minutes, thus missing out on taking down all of my notes.  I felt so horrible to miss what they did, but it was unavoidable.  They did so awesome though and didn't even need me there.  They didn't miss a beat and just kept going.  I didn't want to end up with my page messed up so I didn't write down anything else and instead plan to copy it later.  Look at the part that I did get down though..they did that all on their own.  I couldn't have done it better myself.

Power to a Power: This group looked through their ISN and modeled their page off a different one we did.  I love how they created and showed how to do a bunch of different scenarios.  I did not give them the difference types, they came up with them on their own.  I really like this because it says to me that they thought about the topic and chunked the information which is exactly what I try to do.  This group did not do anything on the left side and opted to play bingo to review.  They even bought Smarties to give out as prizes.  Love it.

So what do you think?  I'm kinda obsessed...I keep showing them off to people.  I gave them no structure beyond "make an ISN page" and I'm really so proud of what they came up with on their own.


This is the area where I needed to give them more support.  I talked about what I wanted them to do, but I don't think I stressed it enough.  Next time I need to go further in depth on giving assessment and feedback.  One group did stellar so I'll be using them as an example next time.  The group that gave the quiz did a very good job.  They actually scored the quizzes as the kids handed them in and told them how they did.  And it gets better...they did this:

How awesome??!  It was completely his own idea.  I told them that they needed to give support on whether or not the kids learned and this was his way of doing that.  I love it.


  1. Totally appreciate and applaud you for recording this process so well. It is so informative! doing all that leg work (wink) helps shape how we can follow your lead and encourages us to do so!

    Thanks! Amy

  2. Just wanted to say (again) thank you for creating such detailed records of everything you're doing with the ISN and in class. I am so excited to steal your ideas! ;-) Please please please keep up the great work!


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