Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines Special Factoring Situations - Section 1: Warm up and Homework Review


Explaining a mathematical process in words is often one of the most difficult tasks for many students.   We had recently worked on the box method of factoring and so this was what most of them attempted to describe.  Many answers I received were incomplete and/or unclear.  A lot were similar to Student Work 3 which offers a short description that will only make sense to some one with prior experience with the box method.  Student Work 2 offers a slightly more in-depth description but falls apart, and is incorrect, toward the end.  Student Work 1 was one of the few descriptions that was reproducible by itself.  

This inexperience with verbally describing a process has a lot to do with the transition to the Common Core standards.  This warm up reaffirmed that I need to do more activities that require students to explain a process or their reasoning.  Fortunately, this doesn't have to be a big stand alone activity.  It can be incorporated inside any lesson as a portion of the notes, warm up, or exit ticket.  

  Writing Across the Disciplines: Explaining a Process in Writing
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Special Factoring Situations

Unit 3: Polynomials
Lesson 8 of 15

Objective: Students will be able to factor differences of squares, and sums and differences of cubes.

Big Idea: Multiple methods for finding the factors of polynomials are addressed and analyzed in this lesson.

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1 teacher likes this lesson
Math, Algebra, factoring, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, master teacher project, Difference of Squares, Sums and Differences of Cubes
  50 minutes
image special factoring situations
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