Our unit on Quadratics is probably my favorite unit to teach. There is so much growth! One of the topics we cover in our Quadratics unit is differences of squares. I love looking at concepts through pictures (Have you seen the post Pythagorean Theorem Proof Without Words from Mrs. E Teaches Math? It's awesome.) The format of a factored difference of squares seems so simple, but I find that giving it context through pictures helps the concept sink in.

Here we have a square with side length x.

I like the number 5, so I took a 5x5 square out of our big square. I may or may not get a little too excited about "

*difference of*squares" literally meaning "

*subtract*one square from another. The kids may or may not look at me like I'm crazy.

Now our former square has one side length x and another side length x - 5.

If we trim things to make 2 rectangles, we have a smaller rectangle with a width of 5.

Turning that rectangle on its side we now have a rectangle with side lengths x - 5 and x + 5.

I love this visual because it always works. It could even be used with graph paper so that students can count the units.

I love showing concepts with as few words as possible. Here is a photo of part of my Algebra 1 word wall. (You can see a reference for differences of squares in the top right corner. What topics do you like to show through pictures?

I love the simplistic nature of this tactile lesson for a subject that, for some young scholars, seems so abstract.

ReplyDeleteI teach middle school scholars and also two math clubs after school; both are advanced math tutorials.

Last year's 7th graders learned through the quadratic formula so I look forward to starting their tutorial with this exercise this year (they are now 8th graders).

I look also forward to viewing and purchasing you lessons through TPT.

Michelle

Michelle, I am always blown away to hear about middle schoolers learning things I associate with older kids. It's amazing! Thank you for your comment. Math clubs sound so awesome.

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