Exponential Notation...What Does It Look Like?

     My class and I had fun making models of exponential notation, or exponential growth, using base ten blocks.  I made task cards for groups to use.  They were given a base factor to use and modeled that base as far as they could, usually to a power of between 4 and 8.  For example, one group did the powers of 2...2 to the first power (2), to the second power (4), to the third power (8), and so on.  Groups with larger base factors couldn't go quite as far as the twos!  Below are pictures of our results.

     I like this activity because it's such a strong visual for an abstract concept.  Maybe we'll pool all of our base ten blocks and see how far we can go with the same base!  Stay tuned!

Pat McFadyen
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  1. This is a great activity! I need to go dig out my base 10 blocks. As a Homeschooler, sometimes I forget how important it is to use manipulatives. Thank you for sharing:)

  2. Yes, I believe that "children must hold math in their hands before they can hold it in their heads." I didn't make that up, but I love the concept!


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