Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Multiplying Polynomials Investigation - Section 2: Investigation


This lesson is certainly a departure from the "typical" approach to teaching arithmetic with polynomials.  That said, it is focused on a topic that all math teachers mostly take for granted.  Sometimes I find it useful to make these implicit traits really explicit for students.  The more they can understand why polynomials "work" the way they do the deeper their understanding will be.  This investigation did a good job of making the relationship between the number of terms in the factors and the number of terms in the product of two polynomials really explicit.  It also gave students the tools to anticipate what an answer will look like before beginning their calculations.  This can be a really powerful habit of mind.

  Look for the structure!
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Look for the structure!
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Multiplying Polynomials Investigation

Unit 4: Polynomial Expressions
Lesson 8 of 18

Objective: SWBAT multiply polynomials with a various number of terms and degree.

Big Idea: Students will discover that the number of terms in the product of two polynomials is connected to the number of terms in the expressions being multiplied.

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