Our Goal

"Understanding Multiplication of Exponents"
To create an instructional sequence (a.k.a. lesson plan) featuring:
- different models to present the concept
- select problems to facilitate student understanding
- explanations to bring about student understanding
- common student misconceptions
- ways to address misconceptions
- connections to real world experiences
- connections among mathematical ideas

Lesson Plan for Junior-High School Exponents

Lesson Plan for Junior-High School Exponents
A concept-map of multiplication of exponents


  1. What is exponents? An expression, also called "power," of repeated multiplication of the same factor. Example, 23 is a "power" with a base 2 and an exponent 3. This is what it means mathematically "two multiply by itself three times."  
  2. How to read an? [Say it however you want!...] "a raised to the n-th power," "raised to the power [of] n," or possibly "a raised to the exponent [of] n," or more briefly: "a to the n-th power" or "a to the power [of] n," or even more briefly: "a to the n."
  3. What is x½? A fractional "1/n" exponent means take the n-th root. So,  x½ means "square root of x;"  x1/3 is "cube root of x;"  x1/n is "n-th root of x;" and so on..
  4. Which models facilitate understanding of the concept [of exponent multiplication]?
  5. How is exponents useful?