Awhile ago my math teacher taught a lesson about negative exponents. She said that you can not work with them. In order to get rid of the negative, you have to make it into a fraction. To do that, you must add 1 underneath the whole number. Then it becomes a fraction, and it usually is less than 1. Take 5^-2 as an example. You would put a 1 below it to make it a fraction. Then it becomes 1 over 5^2. The negative is no longer there. After that, you just simplify and you get 1 over 25. That is why 1 over 25 is less than 1 because it is just a part of whole. You could also just multiply one-fifth times one-fifth and you will still get the same answer. I think that method is pretty easy to do. This math lesson really helped me understand the value of negative exponents and how to get rid of them and make them become fractions.