Converting Logs and Exponents

As a private full time math tutor, most of my students come to me confused when they start learning how to convert logs into exponents and vice versa .

All I have to say is...

You just "Keep the Base" and "Flip Flop".  It's THAT simple.  

For more logarithm tricks you can try my comprehensive guide here.

Foil - Using the foiling method for multiplying two binomials.

I ALWAYS use foil when teaching students how to multiplying binomials.  I am not a fan of the box method.  If students still have a difficult time remembering the steps, I'll say just "distribute twice". Here is a cool gif that shows each step you can bookmark it or check out my poster here.

Dividing with exponents can be tricky...

But is doesn't have to be difficult! I am constantly having to re-teach students how to divide exponents. Whether the base is an integer or variable they can never seem to remember how to simplify the fraction. The phrase "top minus bottom, answer on top" has helped ALL of my students remember this tricky concept! When the bases are the same, simply subtract the bottom from the top and be sure to put your answer on top:) Hope this helps your students too! Here is a great cheatsheet for your students who need extra help!

How a Triangle Magically Transforms into a Trapezoid!

This fun graphic helps students visualize the similarities and differences between a triangle and a trapezoid! In the classroom I make a large triangle from construction paper and use a pair of shears.  For my older students I say, "A decapitated triangle is a trapezoid".  It always sticks.  Bookmark this GIF to show to your students whenever they get stuck:)

Simplifying Logs ... So Simple!

Many students have a difficult time simplifying logs. Most teachers have students convert the logs to exponents first.  This is time consuming and confusing for most students.  This is how I teach my students!  They are always dumbfounded to realize how simple it is! For more logarithm tricks you can try my comprehensive guide here.

5 steps to Organizing your Classroom!

I'll be the first to admit that I've daydreamed of getting lost in The Container Store! I find myself fantasize of small cubbies and spots for everything from binders to paperclips. Organizing an entire classroom can be a daunting task! Here are 5 simple steps to getting everything in its place!

1. Gut it! Start by making three piles- Keep, donate and trash! Keep any paperwork and supplies that you consistently need and frequently use. Donate old supplies to your local shelter or to another teacher! I know that new teachers are incredibly thankful for any help that they can get... Supplies can get expensive! And finally trash... this is the tricky one. Obviously, trash the trash. Also, trash thing that are of no value or are broken. 

2. Clean it! Now that you've got the bare bones, it's a great time to clean the nooks and crannies that typically don't get any attention. One of my favorite products are Lysol Wipes (3 containers of 80 wipes for $9 on Amazon-WOW!). They are easy to use and easy to store for later in the year.

3. Categorize it! The hardest part of organization is finding a place for everything and remembering where things belong. Categorize items based on frequency of use (daily use, monthly use, etc.), size, and color! Frequency of use is by far the most important. Remember to keep these items easily accessible and in practical containers- this is the only situation that I would splurge on containers.

4. Contain it! Choose container solutions that are appropriate for each set of items. It's amazing how expensive plastic can be! My favorite places to shop for inexpensive containers are The Dollar Tree and Big Lots. Both stores have a ton of cute and practical storage solutions! Another tips is using clear jars for storing pencils/markers/rulers. I always save the jars that pasta sauce, pickles and peanut better come in and wash them to be reused! If you're looking for larger storage solutions, I usually check out Ikea. Ikea has a ton of cute rolling carts that are great for moving supplies from one area to another.

5. Decorate it! Find a theme that suits you and your students! Remember to not pick anything too busy or distracting for the classroom. Focus on bright colors and interactive and encouraging bulletin boards. 

I hope this helps you to organize your classroom and maybe even your home!