In the next few weeks, we will teach polynomials, and then attributes of quadratics. I plan to introduce factoring using those attributes ... as we examine the x-intercepts ... demonstrating how those roots are solutions to the equations. Obviously this limits us to very specific graphs ... ones that integer roots that are easy to see on a graph.
Then as we begin to pursue factoring in earnest, we will use "flashback" to illustrate the inverse relationships between multiplying and factoring.
- We will use x puzzles to build number sense ... numbers that multiply to equal one number while adding to equal another number. I found these puzzles online (Sum and Product Pre-Factoring Puzzles) ... I plan to use the x puzzles even before we get to multiplying polynomials ... just as puzzles! I hope that just exploring them as puzzles before we get to factoring will reduce anxiety in factoring.
- Algebra Tiles will help to demonstrate the area model of multiplication. We'll use the tiles for factoring as well. I plan to use the ones at Illuminations for online practice.
- From there we will use the "box method" (an array) to multiply and then to work backwards to factor.
One method I don't plan to use that was presented at the workshop is the "Kick It" or "Kick Back" method. It seemed contrived - a bit of math magic. If you want to read more about it, check out this blog post!
I noticed that Julie at I Speak Math has a template for X-Box Factoring ... I plan to borrow it to slip into our dry-erase sleeves as we practice!
I'm looking forward to our new unit ... first a few Laws of Exponents, and then ... polynomials!