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We all know the the rules of exponents covered in freshman algebra. The question is, what is the best way to approach these topics as most 9th graders struggle in this area?

I work as an after school tutor at a high school and most of the problems the freshman are having deal with exponent rules. They all have different teachers, so it really cannot be the teachers' fault that they don't get it. All of the math teachers at my school have bachelor's degrees in Mathematics and either a teaching credential or an M.Ed. I was wondering what sound curriculum is available in teaching this topic? I need to find a curriculum that also goes beyond the mechanical and has students to critically think.

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You might want to check out the many posting on the matter at: mathematicsteachingcommunity.math.uga.edu/index.php/submissions –  Amzoti Jan 18 at 1:29
Thinking critically about the rules of exponents? We are not talking about social studies here. IMHO, as with the multiplication tables, these rules must simply be memorized and practiced over and over again until they become second nature. As a brief introduction, the teacher should demonstrate why the rules are true, but in the early years, this should not be the emphasis. Rather, the emphasis should be on mastering basic arithmetic skills. Maybe make up some kind of flash cards. Make it more fun with contests, prizes, and teams. Make sure you sound enthusiastic about the whole process. –  Dan Christensen Jan 20 at 4:50

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