For my first Made4Math blog post, I’ve decided to share a Factoring Activity I modified from a resource I found on the internet. The original resource had a sheet of trinomials to factor with blanks spaces for the factors. You had to cut out the factors from another sheet to make tiles that students would place next to the trinomials. Well, that is a lot of work on my end to prepare. So I thought of using labels instead and students could stick the factors next to their trinomials.
So I share the following two resources:
You can modify the factor sheet to add your own trinomials/polynomials and the label sheet for your own factors. The label sheet will print on a standard 30 label sheet.
Here’s some more pictures from the activity:
The problems varied from complex trinomials with a≠1 to more basic trinomials. My students learned to factor trinomials using diamond puzzles (or what I call the Xbox) and when a≠1, they use the Xbox to break up the middle term and then factor by grouping.
Each student was responsible for factoring three trinomials of their choice (within a group of 4 students). I helped some of my lower skilled students pick the easier problems so they weren’t quickly discouraged by large numbers or challenging factors.
The project was quite successful. Students enjoyed practicing problems this way over standard drill worksheets. I do think I was more excited than they were, but when we did a second label activity (to be shared soon), they a lot of students mentioned how they liked sticking on the labels. Students had to work together to solve problems because if someone took a factor that didn’t belong to them, it would throw off someone else’s factors. It was neat watching students discuss problems and prove they were correct by multiplying out their factors to verify if they were correct.
Some thoughts/changes on the activity for next time:
- Create half sheet papers with three trinomials on each next time. Then I could make four levels of problems and print on different colored paper and have already predetermined the skill level to better differentiate.
- I might make these a full sheet and leave some space under each trinomial for students to show and check their work, that way they wouldn’t have to do it on binder paper.
- Do this activity consecutively throughout my factoring unit. This could be easily adapted for GCF polynomials, grouping, difference of two squares, etc.
Hope you enjoy and find it useful. Please share thoughts, comments, and questions for further discussion!