Education Technology

Definitions and Laws of Exponents

Published on 02/10/2004

Activity Overview

These StudyCards™ stacks cover definitions of natural number exponents, zero, and negative integer exponents, as well as the First, Second, Third Laws of Exponents. Parts 1 through 4. Use with Foundations for College Mathematics, Ch. 1.4, 6.2.

Before the Activity

You should understand of behaviors of functions. In particular, know the connection between the symbolic form and the graphical form of basic functions.

During the Activity

Part I - Use this StudyCards™ set to learn the definitions of natural number exponents, zero, and negative integer exponents.
Part II - First Law of Exponents, based in the connection between functions in symbolic and graphic forms. This first law is discovered through the use of multiplication of functions, comparing graphical representations with symbolic forms. Later confirmation of products is accomplished through comparing numeric representations of the problem and student answers.
Part III - Second Law of Exponents, based in the connection between functions in symbolic and graphic forms. The second law is discovered through the use of division of functions, comparing graphical representations with symbolic forms.
Part IV - Third Law of Exponents, is based in the connection between functions in symbolic and graphic forms. This third law is discovered through the use of raising power functions to powers, comparing graphical representations with symbolic forms. Later confirmation of powers of powers is accomplished through comparing numeric representations of the problem and student answers.

After the Activity

  • Review student results
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary