Fractional Powers

image_1One aside on fractional indices, from a friend.  When teaching about expressions such as the one above he draws a picture of a flower.  The roots go down below the ground (the line) and the 2 in the power is below the line so 2 represents the root.  Then he spins a long tale about flower power and the hippy generation in the 1960’s, when he was learning this topic, where he links ‘power’ with the value above the line where the flower is.

The upshot is to work out the value start with the rootimage_2

then grow the flower (power).image_3

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Thanks for reading,

Steve Fearnley

Steve Fearnley, MA MEd PGCE, has been a maths teacher for over 30 years as well as being a deputy headteacher. He is now a private maths tutor, covering KS3 up to A Level, as well as an author for both MyMaths.co.uk and our brand new AQA GCSE Maths Student Books.

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