11/19/2015 17 Comments
-- a complete, free lesson on exponents --(with a collection of all the resources you need)
Grade Level: 5/6
Skills: understanding & simplifying a basic exponential expression (b^n)
Materials: colored pencils, calculator, 1 computer with youtube access, Exponents "Doodle Note" sheet, Exponents worksheet, Exponent card sets, and "Understanding the Power of Exponents" half sheet (all free downloads)
Time: 60 min
1. Start with the basics - vocabulary and concept. Distribute the Exponents "Doodle Notes" worksheet. Remind students that when they first learned multiplication, it was represented as repeated addition. Now, the concept of simplifying an exponent can be represented like repeatedly multiplying.
Guide the class to complete the note sheet, and allow time for students to embellish, complete the examples, color, and answer. (See the benefits of this format here.)
Emphasize the difference between the "base" and the "exponent" and discuss special situations, like powers of 1 and 0. Stop after 15 minutes, as students will have more time to work through the problems and color later (or they can finish for homework).
-- 15 min --
Click the image for the free file download.
2. Stations - Split your students into groups that will rotate through three learning stations. At each station, they will practice or investigate exponents further.
Some take longer than others, so it is a perfect time for them to continue the independent portions of the note sheet at any station that they finish early.
-- 10-15 min per station --
When students finish the task at a station, they can continue working on the "doodle note" sheets until it is time to move on.
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Check out these related posts for more ideas:
1/8/2016 10:24:29 pm
I can tell that you are a fabulous teacher. Thanks for sharing your ideas with others.
1/9/2016 06:19:32 pm
Suzanne, you are so sweet. You're very welcome, and thanks so much for your kind words. :)
8/31/2016 08:40:54 pm
Thank you! I found your DoodleNotes first, so I just used those for the original lesson on exponents. I think the students appreciated the format, but the content didn't stick with some of them as much as I'd hoped... These additional resources will be great centers for our review day!
8/31/2016 10:29:59 pm
9/20/2017 10:44:52 am
are you guys in florida
8/22/2017 08:34:23 pm
Brigid - You so totally rock girl!! Tomorrow is the first actual day of school and your lesson has given me so many ideas for both tomorrow and the future! Homeschooling is not for wimps but with math not being my strongest subject, I know how to search out and find great teachers like you. Thank you for all you share with us!
8/23/2017 08:47:08 am
9/20/2017 10:47:25 am
math giraffe, i think that you are very kind!!
9/27/2017 11:32:39 pm
Thank you for providing such a wonderful resource!!
10/1/2018 04:59:03 am
Thanks for sharing your great ideas. Keep it up and God bless.
1/25/2019 06:23:46 pm
This is such beautiful material, thank you. I will use some of it for the start of the powers and exponential functions unit with my 9th-graders. I am especially exited about using doodle notes!
1/26/2019 10:02:28 am
Thank you so much, Saskia!
1/29/2019 10:33:05 pm
You saved my life with this one. I needed a great way to teach exponents and this is awesome. Thanks for sharing so much.
10/13/2020 02:15:30 pm
My district prohibits teachers pay teachers on district computers any way to get this in another format so I can utilize these materials?
10/18/2020 01:02:39 pm
3/29/2021 01:39:45 pm
Thanks for sharing this great resource. Your Doodle Notes are so engaging! I'm wondering if you would consider changing the way you have worded the explanation of the what the "b" means... Technically, it's not how many times it is "multiplied by itself".... it is "how many times it is used as a factor"... For example, if we write: b * b, b is only "multiplied by itself" 1 time, not 2, but it is used as a factor twice. Here's some more information about how this language can lead to misconceptions: https://www.quora.com/If-an-exponent-indicates-how-many-times-the-base-number-is-multiplied-by-itself-then-why-doesnt-3-with-exponent-of-1-equal-9-and-3-with-an-exponent-of-2-equal-27
4/10/2021 01:12:09 pm
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