Saturday, May 6, 2017

Polynomials & Box Method Spring 2017

This summer I learned about the box method used for factoring from Sarah over at mathequalslove. I found this method extremely helpful because it was consistent across many different topics and simple to understand. I really appreciate how it helps keep my problems organized. Here are the topics I have used this method with:

* Multiplying Polynomials
* Factoring GCF out of Polynomials
* Factoring Trinomials
* Solving Quadratic Equations by Factoring

***I have also seen this method done with Long Division of Polynomials (don't teach currently)***
You can check out Sarah's post here.

I have made notes using this process as well as dry erase templates for my students to use as they are practicing this skill in the beginning. I have found that lower level students who struggle to keep up with all the different steps try much harder if given a dry erase template as a guide. Also this really helps teach them to keep all their work nice and organized.

As you can see the template is already set up to handle up to a trinomial times a trinomial but students also do not need to use the extra rows and columns if they have smaller polynomials to multiply. 

The template for factoring out the greatest common factor from any polynomial is designed to handle up to four terms as I usually don't do examples greater than that anyways. I did notice that you also might want to limit it to about three variables so that students have enough room to write their letters in the blocks. I'm really glad that I decided to do gcf with the box method also because it makes transitioning into box with factoring trinomials much easier. 

I love this factoring trinomials template. It was not my original idea as most of my ideas are sparked from great resources around the MTBOS. Unfortantly I can't remember exactly who designed this model but if it is yours please let me know so I can tag your blog here as another resource for those interested in this method. 

More recent document shown below. Can't remember who I saw post on twitter that they had students always say what the gcf was even when it was 1 and I loved that because then they won't forget to look for it. So I had to include it in the new file. 

I love to check out the latest posts and blogs with tons of photos of how other teachers present their content. So hopefully these notes and pictures can inspire someone else out there. If you modify any of these I would love to see your idea as it my be better and make me want to steal your brilliance :)

Here are the files found in this document:

Multiplying Polynomials - Notes & Dry Erase Template
Factoring Polynomials GCF - Notes & Dry Erase Template
Factoring Trinomials - Notes & Dry Erase Template
Solving Quadratic Equations using Factoring - Notes & Dry Erase Template

Do you want to find more resources like this???

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