Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Simple Powers - Section 1: Warm up


This lesson is built on questions that the students generated. I think it is important to seize the opportunity to use student questions to drive instruction as much as possible because it encourages their questioning and makes the learning more authentic and meaningful to them. I am also hoping that it will help them develop a more investigative approach to math and make them more active learners. It is also important not to answer their questions for them, but have them devise a way to test out their own conjectures.

The warm up is designed to get students to ask if they can just add the exponents, so it is really important that the teacher NOT provide this information and take away the cognitive work of noticing this pattern and figuring out why it makes sense. I expected they would ask because the whole  lesson is based on exploring student questions, so they know that asking questions is valued.

If they don't ask the question I would just keep giving them examples and ask them to look for any patterns that come up. When the question comes up to follow up with some sense making questions like:

  • What pattern is he/she noticing that made him/her ask that?
  • How could we test it?
  • Why does it make sense that it works?

This process of investigating and digging deeper helps students relate the rule/shortcut with the definition of exponent as well as its relationship to multiplication. When they understand where the rule comes from they won't have to rely soley on recall.

  working like mathematicians
  Student Led Inquiry: working like mathematicians
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Simple Powers

Unit 3: Equivalent Expressions
Lesson 22 of 23

Objective: SWBAT simplify expressions with the multiplication and division of same base powers by adding or subtracting the exponents.

Big Idea: Students will use the meaning of "exponent" to help them understand the rules for simplifying powers.

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2 teachers like this lesson
Math, exponents / powers, Expressions (Algebra), simplifying variable expressions, simplifying fractions
  54 minutes
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