Factoring Linear Expressions - Can you "un" distribute?

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Students will be able to factor linear expressions.

Big Idea

You can distribute…but can you “undistribute?” This lesson investigates factoring using models, as well as rules.


10 minutes

Opener:  As students enter the room, they will immediately pick up and begin working on the opener.  Please see my instructional strategy clip for how openers work in my classroom (Instructional Strategy - Process for openers).  This method of working and going over the opener lends itself to allow students to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, which is mathematical practice 3

Learning Target:  After completion of the opener, I will address the day’s learning targets to the students.  In today’s lesson, the intended target is, “I can factor linear expressions.” Students will jot the learning target down in their agendas (our version of a student planner, there is a place to write the learning target for every day). 


50 minutes

Factoring Linear Expressions Notes I am going to begin the instructional portion of the lesson by activating prior knowledge on what factors are.  Students have worked with factors, greatest common factor, in earlier courses – and now they will be taking what they know as a noun, and turning it into a verb.  I am going to give them a couple minutes to talk to their tables about what factors are, and then have them find the greatest common factor of a few number sets.  Next, we will move into notes regarding factoring, and complete a couple of example problems as a class, and then they will try a few with their table.  Students will also complete a couple of application problems pertaining to area with their tables.  The idea of relating factoring to area works right off of the previous lesson (mathematical practice 7/8), so I would like students to work together to figure it out before I give them any hints (mathematical practice 1).  Students will be working with area models (mathematical practice 5) in order to determine how an expression can be factored - the use of tools such as models help students visualize the math.

Practice Work: Factoring Expressions Explore Narrative

Summarize + Homework

5 minutes

Instructional Strategy - Table DiscussionAs a summary to this lesson, I am going to have students discuss the question “what operation can you relate factoring to?”  I want students to discuss this at their tables, and then I will take a response from each table.  This method is just a way to foster good mathematical conversation – student responses may include both multiplication or division – I just want them to back up their answer with sound reasoning. 

Homework:  After the table discussion, I will pass out the assignment and allow students to begin working. Philosophy on Homework