James Tanton's take on logarithms is an excellent resource, highly recommended for anyone who is teaching logs for the first time. For example he suggests starting off by writing the following on the board, perhaps in silence...

power

_{2}(8) = 3

power

_{5}(25) = 2

Your turn!

power

_{3}(27) = ___

power

_{10}(100) = ___

Give students a lot more examples to complete and then congratulate them for their cleverness on having taught themselves logs. Then go through and cross out the word power in each example, replacing it with log. As James says, "

*Taking the time to do this in a showy way brings home the point that logarithms are just powers - whenever we see the word log we are to think power.*". Read the rest of James' paper for more ideas.

This blog post from Sarah Hagan has absolutely loads of activities for teaching logs and her subsequent post has some follow-up activities.

There's a wide range of teaching ideas in this Logarithm Functions booklet from Mathematics Vision Project, which starts with an ordering activity:

Mathematics Vision Project |

Susan Wall - via STEM Centre |

Here are some more of my favourite resources for teaching logs to Year 12:

- Teachitmaths.co.uk has a selection of logs dominoes - I particularly like these.
- SRWhitehouse on TES always provides excellent A level resources. She has a great selection of resources for logs.
- Slides - 'An introduction to logarithms' by Teachit Maths.
- C2 Target Board - Logs and Indices - hannahlees on TES.
- Student activities on introducing logarithms - Project Maths
- Become Friends with Logarithms - notes and exercises by Scott Surgent.
- RISP 31 - building log equations.
- Standards Unit A13 - Simplifying Logarithmic Expressions.

I'm definitely using that power idea - I always introduce logs as a synonym of power, index, order and exponent. Some intuition with log 10 usually helps - effectively the number of digits

ReplyDeleteI'll definitely use it too. James Tanton has so many good ideas.

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