Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Quick Mnemonic for Fractional Exponents

I forgot that I invented this mnemonic for fractional exponents, so I thought I'd share in a quick post between periods.

My students often have trouble remembering whether the cube root of x^4 is x^(4/3) or x^(3/4).  So I use the analogy that fractional exponents are like trees.

When the sun shines, the POWER for the tree comes from the TOP (photosynthesis) while the ROOTS are on the BOTTOM.