# Expressions and Equations / What is an Exponent?

Activity 1 of 18
This lesson allows students to investigate exponents and learn how to use exponents as a compact way to write expressions involving whole number multiplication.

## Planning and Resources

Objectives
Students should be able to use and interpret the definition of an exponent.  They create equivalent numerical multiplication expressions using whole number exponents.

Vocabulary
exponent
base
factor
power
square
cube

Standard:

## Lesson Snapshot

#### Understanding

This lesson focuses on how the definition can be used in a variety of situations to make sense of the computations: ab, (a*c)b, abc and in particular, allows students to investigate whether exponents “distribute” over operations other than multiplication.

### What to look for

Common misconceptions include not understanding which element in the expression is the base of the exponent, multiplying the exponent and the base, and reversing the role of the base and the exponent.

### Sample Assessment

What is the value of (3.4)( 102 )?
a. 3.4   b. 34  c. 340  d. 3400