A while ago I wrote about this strategy for teaching students to solve exponential equations (without logs). It has been a pretty effective lead in for exponential equations and also evaluating logs, as students get to practice using all different kinds of exponents and combining them with different bases.
This year, our school has been
For level 1, students choose the correct exponent to complete the equation. Fraction and negative exponents are used.
For level 2, students choose a base and an exponent to complete each equation.
For level 3, students must use the same base to complete two different equations.
When they're done, I go straight into solving exponential equations with the use of like bases. It's a super easy transition. Logarithms are next, and this activity really sets the stage for answering the question "What exponent goes with base ____ to equal ____?".
Here are the files: