It can't be 5000, that's too high. It's gotta be somewhere between 1 and 100, but it isn't 50.I wrote the following on the board:
Me: Do me a favor and evaluate each of those four expressions.Respectively, students gave me:
100^3 = 1,000,000
100^2 = 10,000
100^1 = 100
100^0 = 1
It helped that we already proved a zero exponent simplifies to one. PHEW! So I stood there with a nondescript look on my face and asked students to make observations. They got my "What do you wonder? What do you notice?" face.
Me: Let's talk number sense here everyone. Where would we place 100 to the one-half power?Many students quickly placed it between 100^0 and 100^1. So how is that 5000 looking? Does that make sense? Some keen observers (only a few throughout the day) noticed a pattern of decreasing zeros. One million decreases by two zeros to get ten thousand. Ten thousand decreases by two zeros to get one hundred and one hundred decreases by two zeros to get one. No one really said it was because they were dividing by 100 each time, but I let it slide. I didn't want to take anything away from some of the lightbulbs lighting up in class.
Sheena: Since you take away two zeros each time, and 100^1/2 is between 100^0 and 100^1, you only take away one zero to get 10.
Me: (to the class) What do guys think?
Class: Yea! Totally! That really makes sense.
Me: Is it enough to convince you all? Will this work every time? So let's try this:I asked students for factors of 100. Students gave me:
Me: Which one of these is a perfect square?
Me: So let's rewrite 100 as 10^2 and keep the half power.
Class: Woah! It's ten to the first. So it's ten!
Me: So what can we conclude about something to the half power?
Student: It's the square root.I toss up a couple expressions for confidence: 49^1/2. They shout, "seven!" or 64^1/2. They shout, "eight!" Now, if you want to really mess with some of your kids, throw 27^1/3 up on the board and ask, "So what is something to the one-third power?" You might get lucky with a kid that says 3. Maybe walk them through that one. For my honors kids, I would ask, "What number on the board is both a perfect square and perfect cube?" You know you have a smarty pants when they say 64. That's a gem right there. Don't expect that often in 8th grade. That's my Elijah! (the closest I'll get to Fawn's Gabe.)
Question 5 stole the show and our explanations for questions 6-8 were not as spectacular. That's fine. However, I think I'll switch the order of the questions and put this question #6 last (after current question #8). I found that the flow of explanations from students for current question #8 (quotient) really helped explore/explain negative exponents, making question #6 easier for students.
In one of my classes, Arielle came out of nowhere and gave us this gem. I immediately put it up on the Quotes of the Week board.
That's right! We're exploring these rules and students are defining them through observations and patterns. I think students have a better understanding of these properties and rules when given incorrect solutions (mistakes). In case I don't have time to wrap things up with you about tomorrow, the handouts from this week will be at the bottom of this post. Michael Pershan recommended I tell students that some solutions are incorrect and some are correct. I tried that out for Days 2 & 3. We only had about ten minutes to start today's handout. After their abbreviated individual time, I put these two things up on the board:
- Share with your group the one solution you feel most confident about.
- Select one question you want to know the answer to most.
I had students stand and vote once (by raising hand) for the question they wanted to know the answer to the most. I kept a quick tally. Most classes picked question #8. Still standing, I told students to either face the hallway if they thought the question was correct or face the windows (opposite the hallway) if they thought the question was incorrect. I take a quick tally. Sit back down and have students share out loud. I'd resume Fish Bowl if I had more time. Try this sometime. Fun.
Tomorrow: more group work, less teacher.