Not my finest moment as a math teacher.

This semester, I was determined to come up with a better explanation. I gave my classes the following true/false question. (I'm mean and didn't give them the option of "sometimes true.")

**True or False:**

The students said it's true (with no hesitation) and justified it with the Product Rule (Power Rule works, too).

Then I showed them this:

What the #$%@...?

"So, what's going on here?" I asked innocently.

We had a good discussion about how the left graph is the same as the right if you restrict them to

*x*>0 and how the right side would be defined for both positive and negative values for

*x*since any real number squared is non-negative. This (I hope) led to the powerful conclusion that the properties for logs have to be used with caution since logs are only defined for positive arguments. This was stated when we first introduced the rules, but it's easy to forget. Furthermore, when solving log equations, we don't know if the arguments are positive or not...so we have to use the properties and then come back and correct ourselves if need be.

Love this, Rebecka! I can't wait to talk to students about this! :)

ReplyDeleteThanks for the great ideas. Keep them coming!!

With love,

Kailee

Rebecka I would have loved to have you as a teacher! You've self-improvement written all over this material... something every teacher should have.

ReplyDeleteI almost understood it, too! Wooo!

Kailee--Keep me updated if you decided to use it!

ReplyDeleteThanks, Rob! I agree--self-improvement is a must. :)

I included this post in Carnival of Mathematics 85.

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