Posted on August 10, 2016


So… teaching exponents as dimensions: the movie.

We look at what looks like ‘one.’  Then … we rotate it so that we can see that it’s actually 2 dimensions.   It’s really 1 x 2.   That’s two to the first power/dimension.

Then we turn that “two” line up and realize that actually it’s two by two square.   (I’m trying to think of a food item or concrete thing to use… chocolate?)

NExt scene, we take the square and rotate that and we can see that a 2 x 2 x 2 cube has 8 cubes.

Then we get all abstract and just show two cubes for two to the fourth… but maybe not right away.   Maybe that’s a “spiral element” to add. (A Sue Jones idea:   if you teach one small chunk to mastery, then teach something else whlie that’s at the practice stage, then go back and add a little ‘thing,’ you get to review the original again and make it more likely to stay  a concept, not a fake-it-’til-you-make-it entity.)

Okay, changed my mind.   Do that with three — then see if students can do it with two??   or four?   BEcause the whole 2 + 2 = 2 x 2 can confound things.


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