An Exponent Activity for 6th Grade or Middle School Math Class
Looking for an exponent activity for 6th grade or middle school math students?
We played a little “exponent war” in our 6th grade math today, inspired by a couple of pins I saw on Pinterest.
I made a recording sheet, for each partner to record their exponential form and its value – you can download it by clicking the button at the bottom of this post:-)
How to Play Exponent ‘War’
2) Each student gets half a deck of cards (if you keep the ‘face’ cards in the deck, assign a number value to them)
3) Each partner flips over 2 cards – the first is the base and the 2nd is the exponent
4) Students find the value of their exponential expressions
5) The student with the higher expressions ‘wins’ all the cards
6) Play continues until one player has won all the cards (or until time is up:-)
Using Calculators for This Exponent Activity?
I haven’t allowed the students to use calculators to find the values of exponential expressions up to this point, but… I did allow them to use calculators for this exponent activity, because some of the numbers end up being so large! (We used the jacks, queens, and kings as 11, 12, and 13.)
In my first class, students discovered that the calculator converted the values of expressions with large bases and large exponents to scientific notation.
In my other classes, I explained the basics of scientific notation to the students before they began the activity. I also suggested that they might want to stick with bases and exponents less than 9. (My students haven’t worked with scientific notation yet, but if they had, it would have been great to integrate that knowledge into the activity).
Having the choice to stay under 9 or to use those larger numbers was a great opportunity for self-differentiation!
The students really enjoyed the activity. It was interesting to listen to their comments about how they knew which one was larger, before they actually calculated the values. They want to play a little longer tomorrow, so this was definitely a hit!
What is your favorite exponent activity for 6th grade or middle school math class?