Lesson: 1- Negative Exponents

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT recognize negative exponents as repeated division and apply this skill.

Lesson Plan





- How can we rewrite a negative exponent?

1. Opening – 8 mins - active

2. Mini-lesson – 20 mins - passive

3. Four Corners – 12 mins - active

4. Show Me What You Got  - 30 mins – passive

5. Exit Slip – 10 mins - passive



SWBAT recognize negative exponents as repeated division and apply this skill.




1.     2-5               

Exit slip print outs

1.  OPENING (8 minutes) ACTIVE


Exponent warm-up.


Students are prompted again to follow procedure to get into classroom / complete warm-up.

Drill print outs

2.  Mini-lesson: CONTENT (20 minutes) PASSIVE


HOOK:  Exponent division

Push the negative exponent to the UNDERWORLD… under the fraction sign.

Students listening, asking engaging questions, and filling in notes sheet.

Notes 2.1



3.  Four Corners (12 mins) ACTIVE


Students go to four corners of the room, each assigned with a ‘master’ who knows how to do a type of problem. They get quizzed in that corner by that master and this becomes their learning group. Then game for the corners to see which team will earn the most points. Earn dum-dums.

Students may talk, but it is not in their best interest to talk loudly because they have to keep their answers private.

Notes 2.1



4. Independent Practice (30 minutes) PASSIVE



Team with best participation / activity gets to work on carpet / clipboards


5.  Exit Slip (10 mins) PASSIVE


3-2-1 Activity (See Powerpoint)


Exit Ticket



1) After an entire team is silently reading with all materials put away, I will dismiss them to line up at the door. 5 pts to 1st team, 3 pts to 2nd team, 1 pt. to last team for quiet clean-up.

2) Group Kudos will happen occur at the door, with teacher initiating first praise and then scholars share kudos in popcorn fashion.




6. Reflection 


A few understandings are necessary to digest this lesson plan:


1. Passive/Active is a description of the student activity during this part of the lesson. Middle school students will revolt if too many passive activities are loaded up in a lesson and jump off the walls if too many active activities are planned. This cycle of active-passive maintains a good grip on student attention.


2. I used a song to teach students about negative exponents: "When you see a negative sign, drop it down below the line." I would suggest coming up with something that specifies that negative sign requires a negative EXPONENT, not a negative base. That is one of the most important distinctions to make when teaching this lesson.


3. The four corners activity requires that you lay out clear expectations and have prepped the 'masters' on what you expect of them ahead of time. I used warm-up time for this pep talk time. 

Lesson Resources

Presentation 2 1 Negative Exponents  
Notes 2 1 Negative Exponents  
Negative Exponent Warm Up   Activity
Negative Exponents Warm Up  


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