Dyslexia: Exponents with decimal and fractional bases from the gr9 Math curriculum in Ontario

For Parent

Exponents with Decimal and Fractional Bases

Exponents with decimal and fractional bases is a concept from Grade 9 math in Ontario, Canada. It is a way of expressing numbers in a concise form and is an important skill for solving equations. A basic equation with an exponent with a decimal or fractional base looks like this:

an = y

Where a is the base, n is the exponent (the number of times a is multiplied against itself), and y is the result. For example, if the equation is 21.5 = y, then the result (y) is 4.

Issues A 14 Year Old With Dyslexia May Have With Exponents With Decimal and Fractional Bases

Due to the cognitive differences associated with Dyslexia, it is common for 14 year olds with this condition to have difficulty understanding Exponents with decimal and fractional bases. Here are three common issues they may face, and what the parent can do to help them:

Issue 1: Understanding the Concept of Exponents

This can be a difficult concept for anyone to grasp, but for someone with Dyslexia, the idea of a number being multiplied against itself multiple times can be confusing to understand. A helpful way for parents to explain this concept to their 14 year old is by using concrete tools to demonstrate how it works. This can be done by having them model how to solve the equation with blocks or baseball cards, counting how many times they multiply the number with itself. This can help them gain an intuitive understanding of the equation.

Issue 2: Visualizing The Equation

It can be difficult for someone with Dyslexia to visualize equations and numbers. To help the 14 year old in question understand the equation, it can be helpful for the parent to draw it out for them in a clear and concise way. This way, they can understand the equation on a visual level rather than clinging to words or concepts.

Issue 3: Memorizing Different Forms of Equations

Memorizing different forms of equations can be a struggle for many 14 year olds with Dyslexia. To make it easier for them to memorize and understand the equations, parents can break down each exponent equation into smaller pieces. For instance, they can write down the base and the exponent separately, and then practice using the equation before combining the two in a final form. It can also be helpful to use flashcards as a way of memorizing these equations.

Exponent equation: an = y
Sample Question: What is the answer to 21.5?