Flipping Fractions

Reflections of a Second-career Math Teacher

Yesterday, and today, I taught negative exponents to my Algebra 1 class.  Students started out with a “discovery” activity where they filled out two tables, one for $latex 2^n$ and another for $latex 3^n$, for n = 5 to -5 where they eventually figured out that each successive result was half of the prior result, for the $latex 2^n$ table, and one-third of the prior result for the $latex 3^n$ table, which made the answer for n=0 and any negative n more understandable.  I say “eventually” since most students did not recognize the pattern in the table until we covered it explicitly.

This activity led into an introduction of the following definition for a negative exponent.

For this definition, I mentioned that when any number a, a≠0, is raised to a negative power n, you took the reciprocal of the number a raised to the positive power n.  Students learned what reciprocal meant earlier…

View original post 444 more words

About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Independent consultant and junior college adjunct instructor. Former secondary math teacher who taught math intervention, algebra 1, geometry, accelerated algebra 2, precalculus, honors precalculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Statistics. Prior to teaching, I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s