Cereal Factoring

introduce quadratic factoring with a hands-on activity



My students have always had a hard time factoring, probably because of the multiplication and backwards thinking. This year I started our unit with a whole lot of thinking and a whole lot of hands-on - with cereal! 

Intro to Factoring
"What 2 numbers multiply to 12 and add to 13?" My students loved that one! It was a class favorite because it was so obvious...AFTER learning the answer:) We started factoring with no trinomials in sight, just these types of number puzzles in this Prezi.  Once the thinking was there, it made moving on to trinomials a whole lot easier and less intimidating. After our number puzzles, I gave each group of students a bag of Cheerios and a factoring sheet, and a trinomial to factor (also in the Powerpoint). We identified B and C together and students worked to find rectangles with areas of C. 

introduce quadratic factoring with a hands-on activity

In this trinomial, we needed to multiply to 12, so students counted out 12 pieces of cereal.The idea is that students will work their way though different arrays of cereal that make perfect rectangles and write down the side lengths. 

introduce quadratic factoring with a hands-on activity

As they worked their way through the different combinations, students wrote their pairs in the box and looked for a pair that add to B.

introduce quadratic factoring with a hands-on activity

When I finally introduced the first actual trinomials, I heard a lot of, "This is light work!", which I have found to mean, "This is easy?". I loved it! Once the foundation was there, moving to negative numbers was a lot easier. 

Factoring pennant

A fun way to summarize a factoring unit is with a factoring pennant. Students get to color while also showing their understanding of factoring quadratics. The finished products are also a great way to decorate your classroom. 




8 comments:

  1. Outstanding hands-on approach! I love this!

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm pretty geekily excited about factoring this year! :)

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  2. I cannot stop reading all you are saying! I am so excited about all you are sharing.
    Cannot thank you enough!!!

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    1. Paula, you are so kind! I hope you have a wonderful weekend:)

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  3. Lesson planning for the 5 days I am allotted for factoring and this is definitely planned for day 1!

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    1. Five days! I WISH I could get through factoring in 5 days. It would never, ever be possible. Do you feel that is enough time?

      When C is negative, I plan to explain that we will subtract the side lengths to get B. One of these days I'll actually write a post about the lesson! :)

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  4. I'm going to try this tomorrow, super excited. Love the hands on approach! I also teach special ed Algebra 1. I couldn't find the powerpoint but that's ok :) Thank you for the idea

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    1. Ugh, why did I write "Powerpoint"? And I just now noticed how I linked it wrong! It should be fixed now. THANK YOU for letting me know! The Prezi was really helpful to my students. I hope they "get it" with the cereal!

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