Tomorrow, I will introduce the students to logarithms. I decided to start them early in the year for a couple of reasons. Our first unit is on the Real Number System, along with the operations that can be done on real numbers that we don't study in Algebra 1: nth-roots and rational exponents, absolute value, and logarithms. Secondly, students have lots of trouble mastering the log properties. We typically teach it all at once; my thinking is that front-loading what logarithms are, and how to convert back and forth between logs and exponential form, will make it easier to teach log properties later in the year. There are quite a few log problems on the STAR test, so I'm hoping that this is one standard in which we can make some real growth.
I wrote about using the Big L notation a while back. We used it a little bit last year, and I have anecdotal evidence that it improved students' learning. This year, I am going to go full-on with the Big L, and only practice converting from regular log notation as we approach the STAR test. Just to summarize why I am using Big L:
1) Clearer notation - symbolic instead of a "word"
2) Easier to compare/contrast to radicals
3) Helps students understand that log is an operation, not a number or variable
4) Makes it easier to read and remember log properties
There was a bit of discussion on this on the previous post, but it kind of fizzled out. I'm hoping to get more feedback on this from you all, especially if anyone else decides to try it out.
Here are the files for the next lesson:
Lesson 11 (Intro to Logs)
Lesson 11 Keynote