I love logs and I love teaching logs. They are all made more fun with crowdsourcing from Twitter with:

Julie using Zombies as opener to create a need for logs

Kate's discovery activity for Log Laws

Wendy recaps her love of logs

Andrew writes about Clotheslines here with an idea from Chris Shore

I figured I would bring the Clothesline idea into high school in my logs and exponential unit. I had fun putting together logs and exponents onto a number line. That would be a fun activity for the kids. It really made me think.

Log and Exponent Clothesline I think and hope I fixed my typos and mistakes.

My husband used an old soccer net and screen spline to make this clothesline. Of course, I added some pink duct tape: (My Algebra 1 class used it to Limbo)

I made my number line on paper first. Then, I chose to have 16 cards per group of 4 kids. I wasn't sure if I wanted to use 2 clotheslines and have a competition between teams, but I decided on 1 clothesline and just compete by time. I made 6 sets of cards. The first set is a practice set - no logs or exponents, but still challenging with fractions, decimals, and radicals. This would allow the class to see how it is done. It also gave us a quick time to aim for.

I used 4x6 index cards and wrote one problem on each. I added symbols to each group so if they got mixed up, I would be able to sort them after. I told them they couldn't write on the cards so I could use them again but they could use the board if needed.

I did this activity on the day before Christmas break. I returned a quiz and we went over that, then we did this for the rest of the class. It would work well on a review day when the rest of the class might be working on something else and you call up one group at a time. I had one group up front and the rest were the audience, planning their strategies for attack.

I teach Accelerated Algebra 2 during period 4 and 5, so I left the time results from period 4 on the board and we challenged period 5. Rounds were the same in each class so we could compare. At the end, I asked if anyone wanted to try it individually but no one wanted to.

I asked one group if I could record them. They happened to be the only group to bump it and knock some of the cards off, but they laughed and had fun.

I used an online timer and let the kids start sorting. I stopped the clock when they were done and checked their answers. If they had something wrong, I took those cards off and re-started the timer and they fixed it.

One thing I keep stressing is that a negative exponent doesn't make it a negative number. Some kids were still doing that. The fractions with small denominators were hard to put in order :)

Overall, the kids that were sorting were having great conversations and working well together. I think we all enjoyed it.

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