Day 47: negative exponents can create complex fractions

I was concerned my pre-algebra students had absolutely no idea what this means.

negative exponents  They understood the rule, could apply it using numbers and variables, but I truly felt they had no idea that this problem represents a whole number divided by a fraction.

complex fraction

dividing exponents

They also had no idea that this problem was a fraction divided by a fraction.

complex fraction2

So I created a silent screencast for them to study. I didn’t narrate because I wanted the students to focus on what I was trying to convey without words. I used “pen gestures” such as circling words, the pen moving back and forth, etc.

I also created a quick and dirty handout for them to turn the problem into a complex fraction, solve it, then solve using the quotient rule.

student exponent

student exponent2

student exponent3

They realized that one third is equivalent to 3^-1.

Now I have to figure out a way to incorporate interpretative dance!

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