Zero and negative exponents

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SWBAT explore zero and negative exponents.

Big Idea

Use logic to prove the rules of zero and negative exponents. These rules are not made up - they make mathematical sense!

Warm Up

10 minutes

Each day, students complete a warm-up that usually consists of spiraling the previous day's material, in addition to older material.  Warm-up problems also sometimes extend lessons that students have encountered before to more unfamiliar contexts.

For a video narrative about how I structure each lesson, and how the warm-up fits in, click here.


10 minutes

In this lesson, I like to close the lesson by asking two kids to come up to the board and prove that:

1) anything to the zero power is 1; and

2) the properties of negative exponents.


The first one is generally much easier than the second; the second one requires quite a bit of guidance, but it is pretty powerful to get kids to do this.  I try to do this over the course of a few days to ensure spiraled review.


15 minutes

Homework is to be completed at home and should take students approximately 15 minutes.