Friday, January 31, 2020

My Gift to You: A Factoring Goldmine

I am excited with the way my polynomial unit has turned out and I wanted to share.  I am glad I tried everything out first because my first class found all my mistakes. They are my editors!

We started Polynomial vocabulary, add, subtract, multiply, long divide, and synthetic divide.  That was the first part of my unit before midterms.  Then, we took a break and did midterm review and a week of midterms.  That meant I actually had time to make some new activities for the second half of the unit.  I did not want to just direct teach factoring and do a bunch of worksheets.  So, I took the worksheets and turned them into activities.  We had 4 days of factoring this week.  Next week we will have two days of graphing factoring polynomials.  You can see I included the Pizzazz joke puzzles.  We didn't really have in class time for that but if kids wanted more practice, those were good self-checking problems.  I assigned homework from the book.

Feel free to use any of these if you are factoring.  This was how I developed my plan.  I love when I have time to actually sit and plan and create. 

I made the activities, then I decided how I wanted to teach it and made my Google Slide.  I wanted to do quick check ins, so I had a couple of exit tickets in there.

For the Board problems on day 63, I had the kids at the boards #VNPS for quick check in.
For Day 64, I used Sarah Carter's Factor Stack - worked really well.

8.5 Distributive Property with Polynomials
Factoring by Grouping
8.6 Factor all trinomials

8.7 Factor Special Products

Practice Factoring
I Have, Who Has (for class of 18 - could do 2 teams vs each other)
Factor Bingo    Bingo maker
Bingo Set 1 (8 cards)
Bingo Set 2 (8 cards)
Bingo Set 3 (8 cards)
Bingo Set 4 (8 cards)

Poly Lab Graphing
Worksheet to go with Desmos Activity
Review graphing practice

Review for Quiz 8

Then, I just bought a new laminator and I put it to use for the first time.  I asked Twitter if I should cut first and then laminate or laminate first.  I tried both. I think laminating first saved time. The pieces came out sharper and I think they will last for a good amount of time.  I only wish I tried my activities before I laminated because I had some mistakes.  I just fixed them with a sharpie.

My favorite activity of the week was 4 in a row.  I have seen teachers on Twitter use the idea before so I thought it would work well for focused practice on factoring perfect square trinomials and difference of two squares.  I did laminate the board and had the kids write on it with highlighters but that didn't work so well.  For my second class, I just printed it out on paper and had them use pencils to do Xs and Os, much better. 

We have an early release today so we did "I Have...Who Has...?"  I have done this before with other content and really enjoy it.  My first class is smaller, so we did it as the whole class putting themselves in order.  My second class is bigger so we did two teams and did a competition. I was happy with both ways.  Below was BINGO which was also a lot of fun. 

I will say I haven't tried the two graphing ones yet with my class.  I had a 12 page worksheet that goes with the graphing calculator that I have used for years and I finally had time to turn it into a Desmos activity.  I still wanted the kids to record on paper so they were actually drawing the graphs and hopefully seeing the patterns.  I hope it goes as I envision it.  

Thanks for reading.  Let me know if you use any of these ideas or if you make them better or if you find any mistakes. 


  1. This is such a great gift you've offered. The Bingo game looks like a great change of pace.
    I was thinking that the "I have... who has" could also be played in reverse.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

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