Monday, January 27, 2014

Rational Exponents - continued saga

Maybe I'm expecting too much.

Most students did take notes from videos or a powerpoint that I provided before coming to class.  But then in class today, they struggled quite a bit understanding how to use the Laws of Exponents.  Some students persevered but others were so ready to give up!

Their classwork involved progressively more difficult practice.

They started with Manga High to engage them in the basics about rational exponents.  With a little work, most students mastered the work on Manga High.

Then I created a card sort - here is a copy.  After students got over the shock of having to add/subtract fractions with different denominators, they were able to sort the cards into groups.  My advanced students really stress over the concept of fractions!

Last, we made a huge leap to more difficult problems - requiring multiple simplifying steps.  I used Kuta to develop a practice worksheet, transferred those problems to a "search and shade" activity that I found online.  The shading/coloring is optional but offered for those who like that sort of thing.  It was at this point that students were ready to give up.  Did I go too deep too soon?

I am not satisfied that students can do this work on their own.  We get one more class day before the test.  On that day I have to be sure they can solve equations with rational exponents.  It's a lot for such a short teaching time.

I plan to use these error analysis activities to reinforce solving skills ... here, here, and also Regents Prep which seems to be down today!

Hopefully in our next class I'll see more growth.

I am often at odds with our curriculum calendar that expects students to master challenging concepts in short amounts of time!


  1. Hi! Is your search and shade activity available?

    1. Send your email address to algebrasfriend at gmail dot com and I'll send it to you.