Reflection: Checks for Understanding Factor Algebraic Expressions Using the Distributive Property - Section 3: Independent Problem Solving


I like the idea of allowing students to pick any factor they choose.  It lends itself to all type of ability levels.   Using problem 1 as an example, many students will see 6 as the common factor and rewrite the expression 36m + 60 as 6(6m + 10).  However some students might want to use 1/2 as a common factor and rewrite the expression 1/2(72m + 120).   This is great.  However, it slowed me down a bit when walking the room during independent problem solving.  I think I would rewrite at least 4 of the problems to force a common factor.  

Using problem 2 as an example, I might ask students to factor the expression twice - once using 4 as a factor an perhaps using -2 as a factor.  This way I will know exactly what to look for -   4(-10h + 3)  and -2(20h - 6) - and can quickly move on when I see a correct solution.  It only saves a couple seconds per student but that can be huge.  I can reach a larger number of students by focusing on checking these problems with definite answers and better keep my eyes on students who like to cause mischief when they catch me not looking!

  Speeding up the Check for Understanding
  Checks for Understanding: Speeding up the Check for Understanding
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Factor Algebraic Expressions Using the Distributive Property

Unit 4: Expressions and Equations
Lesson 3 of 20

Objective: SWBAT factor algebraic expressions using the distributive property

Big Idea: Students learn to undo the distributive property to identify equivalent expressions.

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Math, Expressions (Algebra), distributive property, factor linear expressions, equation
  50 minutes
calculator and apple
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