I went out to dinner on Friday night to see Hidden Figures with Sandra Ollerhead @sollerhead1, Heather Kohn @heather_kohn, and Brian Abend and @MrAbend and we were discussing factoring, because what else do we talk about on a Friday night at dinner?

Sandy said that she doesn't teach factoring. She has the kids figure it using a card sort, so we asked her to share it on Twitter. I am teaching it right now, so I grabbed it. It is 5 different card sorts, scaffolded in difficulty, trying to allow the students to see a pattern. It looked great, however, I could see it was going to require a lot of cutting. I have 2 classes. The kids would work in pairs, so for one sort, I would need 24 pieces of paper, cut all up and paperclipped together and then there are 5 of them, yikes, nope.

With my student teacher, we decided to make a card sort in Desmos. You do have to go into a little wrench thing on the page and turn on the ability to make a card sort or a marbleslide. From here, we created one lesson with 5 slides, 1 card sort per slide. You can type in the math equation. And, we made the answer key. It didn't take too long to make it.

I tried it out in Period 1. One thing I would suggest to @Desmos is to make the card sort change color to maybe green when it is sorted correctly. Currently, I have to project my teacher dashboard to show the kids the red/green to see if they are correct or not.

Card sort 1 went well, 2 good, 3 good, 4 - all red, uh oh. I took the blame. I said maybe I made the answer key wrong. I looked at their work and it was correct. Same thing with sort 5, something was up.

Turns out I did have one quadratic in the mix that wasn't factorable, so we got rid of that one, but we figured out it was because within one sort, I had the same factor, like two (x+3)s. I may have physically sorted one of them and the student sorted the other so it didn't see it as correct.

Luckily I had a prep before my next Alg 1 class, so we had time to edit. It now works perfectly.

Give it a try if you like: Desmos Factoring A is not 1 Card Sort

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