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8.1: Exponent Properties Involving Products

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

• Use the product of a power property.
• Use the power of a product property.
• Simplify expressions involving product properties of exponents.

Vocabulary

Terms introduced in this lesson:

power
exponent
square, cube
base
factors of the base
product rule for exponents
power of a product
power rule for exponents

Teaching Strategies and Tips

Encourage students to review basic exponents in the chapter Real Numbers.

• An exponent is a notation for repeated multiplication of a number, variable, or expression.
• Exponents count how many bases there are in a product
• Parentheses precede exponents in the order of operations.

Write in exponent form.

a. (4)(4)(4)\begin{align*}(4)(4)(4)\end{align*}

b. (7)(7)(7)(7)\begin{align*}(-7)(-7)(-7)(-7)\end{align*}

c. (5w)(5w)(5w)\begin{align*}(5w)(5w)(5w)\end{align*}

d. tttttt\begin{align*}t \cdot t \cdot t \cdot t \cdot t \cdot t\end{align*}

Encourage proper use of mathematical language:

• 34\begin{align*}3^4\end{align*} is read as “three to the fourth power,” “three to the fourth,” or “three raised to the power of four.” The exponents 2\begin{align*}2\end{align*} and 3\begin{align*}3\end{align*} are special: 32\begin{align*}3^2\end{align*}, “three squared” and 33\begin{align*}3^3\end{align*}, “three cubed.”
• (3x)3\begin{align*}(3x)^3\end{align*} is read as “quantity 3x\begin{align*}3x\end{align*} cubed.”
• 32\begin{align*}-3^2\end{align*} is read as “opposite of three squared.
• (3)2\begin{align*}(-3)^2\end{align*} is read as “negative three squared”.

To check for conceptual understanding, ask students to translate the following into symbols.

• Square negative two. Answer: (2)2\begin{align*}(-2)^2\end{align*}
• Negative two squared. Answer: (2)2\begin{align*}(-2)^2\end{align*}
• The opposite of two squared. Answer: 22\begin{align*}-2^2\end{align*}

Allow the class to infer the product rule for exponents in Example 2.

• “When you multiply like bases you add the exponents.”

Allow the class to infer the power rule for exponents in Example 6c.

• “When you raise an exponent to an exponent, you multiply them.”

Combine exponent rules in Examples 6-9.

• Suggest that students apply each rule one step at a time.
• Order of operations must be followed at each step: evaluate exponents before multiplying. See Examples 6a, 6b, and 9.

Simplify the following expressions.

a. (4x)(3x)2\begin{align*}(4x)(3x)^2\end{align*}

Hint: Apply the exponent before multiplying.

b. (5x2+(2x)2)3\begin{align*}(5x^2 + (-2x)^2)^3\end{align*}

Hint: Simplify in the parentheses first.

c. (4x)(3x)2+(5x2+(2x)2)3\begin{align*}(4x)(3x)^2 + (5x^2 + (-2x)^2)^3\end{align*}

Hint: Simplify each term first.

Point out in Example 8 where the commutative property of multiplication is being used.

Error Troubleshooting

Use Examples 4 and 5 to point out two common errors:

• Multiplying bases incorrectly (exponents are different). 242347\begin{align*}2^4 \cdot 2^3 \neq 4^7\end{align*}.
However, 3424=64\begin{align*}3^4 \cdot 2^4 = 6^4\end{align*} because 3424=(32)4=64\begin{align*}3^4 \cdot 2^4 = (3 \cdot 2)^4 = 6^4\end{align*} (exponents are same).
• Applying the product rule incorrectly (bases are different). 342367\begin{align*}3^4 \cdot 2^3 \neq 6^7\end{align*}.

Remind students in Review Question 6 that even powers of negative numbers are positive. Try using a visual to show that negatives cancel in pairs:

(2)6=(2)(2)(2)(2)(2)(2)=(2)(2)+4(2)(2)+4(2)(2)+4=64\begin{align*}(-2)^6 = (-2)(-2)(-2)(-2)(-2)(-2)=\underbrace{(-2)(-2)}_{+4} \cdot \underbrace{(-2)(-2)}_{+4} \cdot \underbrace{(-2)(-2)}_{+4} = 64\end{align*}

General Tip: Occasionally, students forget that:

• negative×positive=negative\begin{align*}\mathrm{negative} \times \;\mathrm{positive} = \mathrm{negative}\end{align*}
• negative×negative=positive\begin{align*}\mathrm{negative} \times \;\mathrm{negative} = \mathrm{positive}\end{align*}

In Review Question 13, remind students that the exponent in 2y4\begin{align*}-2y^4\end{align*} does not apply to 2\begin{align*}-2\end{align*}. Therefore, 2y4\begin{align*}-2y^4\end{align*} is simplified.

a. Explain the difference between 4x2\begin{align*}4x^2\end{align*} and (4x)2\begin{align*}(4x)^2\end{align*}.

b. Explain the difference between 12\begin{align*}-1^2\end{align*} and (1)2\begin{align*}(-1)^2\end{align*}.

Teachers are encouraged to survey the class for answers. Ask: What constitutes the base of an exponent?

General Tip: Encourage students to think about syntax before inputting an expression into a calculator.

• (1)2\begin{align*}(-1)^2\end{align*} often gets inputted incorrectly as 12\begin{align*}-1^{\land}2\end{align*}.
• (23)2\begin{align*}\left (\frac{2} {3}\right )^2\end{align*} can get inputted incorrectly as 2/32\begin{align*}2/3^{\land}2\end{align*}.

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