We all remember struggling with the log concepts while we were in school. Not only were they hard to understand but were also hard to compute.
Learning logarithm is one of the most difficult tasks in the classroom. But teaching logarithms is even more difficult. Because a student has to teach only one person, himself. While a teacher has to teach a whole class.
Since it is a new topic for the students of that grade, the students are first introduced to the concept and then they are taught how to solve them. This is where students panic. They find it hard to cover everything.
This is why, while approaching logs and antilogs, it is suggested to make use of teaching techniques. Below are 3 top tips that can help students to better understand logs.
1. A little Background:
Diving straight into the calculations is not a good idea. It is best to tell students what are logs and why are they learning them. This step will prepare them for a new thing they are about to learn.
Relation with previous topics:
For this teacher should tell students how logarithms are related to the previous topics they learned.
Logs and antilogs are another way to represent powers or exponents. Both show the same relation between numbers but in a different way. An example would be:
Pro tip: Students can be taught that exponents and logarithms are just like active and passive voices of English. I.e the value of 3 raised to power 2 is 9 (active voice) and 9 is the value of 3 raised to power 2.
In both sentences, the last value needs to be calculated.
After this, they should also describe the importance of logs and antilogs by explaining their use in real-life practices.
Logs are used in different branches of science including environmental, chemistry etc. In addition to this, they also have their uses in finance.
Learning a little background will spike students’ interest and if not all, most of them will look forward to learning it.
Now the main course starts. Teachers should focus whole class and take things slow so that each and every student has a complete grasp of the concept.
As mentioned several times before, this topic is different and new for learners.
Every topic has its own set of definitions, symbols, and pronunciations. It is better to familiarize students with them first.
This is the initial step in teaching. After learning this, students would easily read log equations. And if they are taught well enough, they will already have a vague idea of how to evaluate logs.
After terminologies, the next step is to teach “How to evaluate logs?”.
Since students already know the relation between logs and exponents, they will learn this easily.
Hack: Most institutes have shifted to online learning due to coronavirus. Teachers can tell their students to use the online log and anti-log calculator for fast results and convenience.
Also, this calculator provides some more advanced features as compared to normal calculators.
Antilog and types of logs:
Now, the next baby step is towards antilog (reverse of log) and types of the log.
The two basic types are common and natural log. They are just different notations for the same thing.
About Anti-log, Here we actually see the transitive property of equality i.e if x = y and y = z, then x = z. In the case of the logarithm, it is adjusted as
log = reverse of exponent and Anti-log = reverse of log
Hence, Anti-log = exponent
This tip can prove really useful.
After covering Anti-log, the teacher can increase the pace of teaching and should cover properties of log faster than previous topics.
By now, the students will be perfectly familiarized with the term log and this change will not affect them negatively.
The properties of the log involve product, quotient, and power rule.
In the end, the teacher can start complex topics like finding logs by self which include interpolation, mantissa etc.
It is suggested to be taught at the last because when the students have a clear idea of log and its properties, they will easily learn to compute them.
Everyone is familiar with the proverb:
“Practice makes a man perfect.”
To print the topic on the minds of students, teachers should make students practice.
A good way to do this is by giving MCQs or questions at each step. And including all previous topics in each new assignment.
This practice will remove any confusion about the topic. Also, it will give the teacher an idea of students’ clarity of the concept and their proficiency in its evaluation.
As for questions, Khan Academy has a whole lot of them.
To wrap up!
So, these were some tips regarding the teacher’s approach to logs and antilogs in a classroom.
The process of evaluation is not described in detail because every textbook has them. But these techniques were the most needed.
Hope this article will help teachers in their teaching process. Good luck with that!