Exponent Basics

The lesson below is still images taken from the fully animated PowerPoint I created that is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store page. If the PowerPoint is not one of my freebies, you may also head over to my YouTube channel to see the slideshow fully animated and can pause as needed to be sure you grasp each concept before moving forward (each lesson will always be free there!).

In this lesson we introduce the concept of exponent. The slides build off the idea of repeated addition and use this topic to get students thinking about repeated multiplication. Then the lesson continues on to describe what the power and base refer to and utilizes a chart to have students already pondering powers of 10.

So without further ado, read through the slides below to get a feel for what exponents are and how to evaluate them!

Exp 1Exp 2Exp 3Exp 4Exp 5Exp 6

Phew, that’s a lot to take in. Once you’ve gone over this and found some practice problems to cement the idea in your head what integers are, you may move on to the next lesson below!

Properties of Exponents

Just in case the slides aren’t your thing, here is a text outline of the main points of the lessons above!

  • exponents
  • The basics
  • Objectives
  • By the end of this lesson you should feel comfortable:
  • Identifying the parts of an exponential number
  • Evaluating exponents
  • Repetition
  • Way back when you first learned to multiply, it was through repeated addition:
  • We then used multiplication facts to more quickly recognize problems such as 7×9 or 12×8 without the need for repeated addition.
  • Remember we mathematicians are lazy!
  • If we can repeat addition, though, is it possible to repeat multiplication?
  • Exponents
  • First, let’s learn a little notation.
  • We start with a number called the base.
  • Then we raise it to a power called an exponent.
  • This problem would be read five to the power of three or five cubed.
  • This problem would be expressed or expanded as so:
  • The exponent tells us how many times to multiply a number together with itself.
  • Exponents
  • So let’s look at a few examples of repeated multiplication with exponents:
  • Our first column holds our exponents.
  • The second shows the expression with a base of 10 in each case.
  • Then the pattern follows as such:
  • Special Case
  • There is a question we should always ask ourselves in math, however.
  • What about zero?
  • The simple answer is that any number raised to the zero power is always equal to 1.
  • The reasoning involves rules of exponents which you will learn later, so for now just enjoy knowing that this is an easy case!
  • conclusion
  • A number can be raised to a power to represent repeated multiplication of the same number.
  • The number being raised to a power and multiplied by itself is called the base.
  • The power is called the exponent.
  • Any number raised to the zero power will always equal 1.
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