Saturday, February 16, 2013

Flip for Rational Exponents

I was doing a lesson on rational exponents with my 8th grade Algebra students. I wanted to do more than an example walk with them to introduce the concept. I created these flippables for students to use. Even 8th graders like to cut and fold :)! Students simply folded along the solid line and then cut slits along the dotted lines.

The first flippable was the basic understanding of the lesson. What happens when you have a positive unit fraction as an exponent? Each additional flippable was designed to build upon previous understandings. What would happen when a fractional exponent was not a unit fraction? What would happen when the exponent was negative? I copied each in a different color to refer back to in future lessons.

The goal was for students to look at the problems on each flippable and identify patterns, connect to previous learnings, and ask clarifying questions. Through discussion and exploration, students identified the patterns and recorded the answers under each flip. They were able to check for accuracy through collaboration and/or referring to their textbook. After each flippable, we synthesized our learning. Students would then apply the skill to more complex problems.

This strategy can be used with any grade level and any math skill. Using different colored flippables while trying to build a skill is one way to differentiate while having students strive for deeper understandings. Students can refer to these flippables as anchors of learning in future lessons. Students also can use these flippables as a review. Click on the image below and find a teacher copy and a student copy of the four flippables we used during this Algebra lesson.

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