Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Getting to Know Logarithms - Section 2: Getting to Know Logarithms


The key to success with logarithms is a solid conceptual understanding.  Students are more successful and find mathematics more enjoyable when they can see the subject as a coherent and connected whole.  This doesn't mean that they've be told that logarithms are related to exponents, but that they've had the opportunity to really see the connection between the two concepts.

For this view of mathematics to form, students must construct it for themselves out of many different experiences.  Gradually, as new concepts are observed to develop out of prior concepts, the cumulative effect is a clear and coherent view of the subject.

When it comes to logarithms, we begin with exponentiation.  From this foundation, we slowly develop the language of logarithms, the notion of a logarithm as the inverse of an exponent, and the various properties of logarithms.  Along the way, we continually reinforce the connections between the concepts and pick up lots of practice.

Since I moved toward this approach, I've had lots of success, with students even coming back to say that logarithms were their favorite subject in Algebra 2 because they made so much sense!

  The Key to Success
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: The Key to Success
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Getting to Know Logarithms

Unit 6: Exponents & Logarithms
Lesson 10 of 14

Objective: SWBAT rewrite exponential expressions in logarithmic form. SWBAT apply the properties of logarithms.

Big Idea: From verbal expressions to algebraic equations, students use logarithms and exponents to solve a variety of problems.

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Math, Exponents and Exponential Functions, logarithms, Algebra 2, master teacher project
  45 minutes
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