Its been one of those busy weeks, so I’ve not actually created anything “new” but decided to share something I used last spring. The idea developed after @lmhenry9 tweeted a need for ideas to use with polynomial stations. A month or so later – I decided to use a similar idea.
I purchased a bag of 8 wooden blocks from Hobby Lobby ~ $3. Used my sharpie to add expressions to the blocks. Created instruction cards for each station. Based on a pre-assessment, I grouped kids by similar struggles – those who were a step ahead could “play” more game-like activites – while I could spend time with groups who needed some extra support. We spent a couple of days in class rotating activities. I think most pictures are self explanatory.
1. Collecting Like Terms
2. Adding / Subtracting Polynomials* – let students know which “color” block is the first polynomial. For a little discussion, ask if it really matters? If so, when/why?
3. Multiply Monomial x Polynomial
4. Binomial x Binomial
5. Factor Match – I didn’t have orginal copies with me to scan – but will get them posted here asap.
I also had a station utilzing a Tarsia-style puzzle with variety of polynomial multiplication expressions.
Tic Tac Times – Students pick 2 factos listed at bottom of the page and multiply. Place game piece on the product. First player to get 3 or 4 (you pick the rules) in a row, wins! For more challenge, each player must use one of the factors just used by their opponent.
* A sidebar – while creating my blocks – my daughter asked what I was doing. I replied – making a game for my students to play. She asked – can I play it to? My first instinct was to tell her No – but I bit my tongue. And then I remembered a problem she had left on my board one day afterschool and my students had asked me what it was… (After school, she and a couple of other “teachers’ kids” hang out in my room and play school.) I realized it was very similar to how she had been adding and subtracting 3 digit numbers in class this year. So I explained how the x^2 was like her 100’s, x was like the 10’s and the # was just one’s. She rolled the blocks and did a few problems…I’m thinking – if a 2nd grader can do it – so can 9th graders, right?
So I went in the next day – and shared “her lesson” with the class. I gave an example like the one above – referring back to the problem they had seen on my board. They understood the process of decomposing the numbers to add/subtract. I connected the example to (3x^2+4x+2)+(2x^2+3x+5) to get (5x^2+7x+7) – good to go. Then I asked, WHAT IF we let x = 10… you know – not one student missed these problems again…