Puzzle: Factoring Trinomials
[Photo is a very old math joke, passed around in multiple emails and forum posts. If you know where it originated, please tell me, so I can give credit.]
My high school class ended the year with a review of multiplying and factoring simple polynomials. We played this matching game, and then I gave them a puzzle worksheet. I liked this idea, but I didn’t like the decoded answer. In my opinion, puzzles should give the student a “reward” for solving them — maybe a joke or riddle or something — but that answer seemed almost like nagging.
So I changed things around to make my own version:
More Fun with Factoring
Here are some other blog posts and resources you may find helpful:
- Teaching Factoring — Should we?
The beginning of a series from Jonathan, who always has wise advice. See also: I ban FOIL (Amen!) and a links post.
- Module — Factoring
Lessons and worksheets for algebra 1 students, and source of the original factoring puzzle. We also worked through the Factoring Trinomials by Grouping lesson, and if we’d had more time, we would have played the Old Poly game.
- Factoring Unit
A brief set of worksheets to guide students through the basics of factoring in about a week of classes. Looks good, but it came out after our semester was finished. If you try it with your students, please let me know how it works.
- Four Fun Ways to Review Factoring Trinomials
More factoring games and puzzles, courtesy of Mr. D, who wrote the Matching Game we used.
- Perplexing Polynomials
Another review puzzle that I wanted to use, but we ran out of time. See also: Algebra 2: Factoring Trinomials (Part 1).