The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra - Day #1

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SWBAT use the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra and show that it is true for quadratic polynomials.

Big Idea

Roll out and connect the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra to the students' prior knowledge and learning.

Half the Class - Doubly Effective!

10 minutes

Gallery Walk

5 minutes

Following the opening split group activity I have the students take out their notes and attempt the Warm-Up (slide #3 of the PowerPoint).  This warm-up revisits the concept of a degree of a polynomial.  Although it is something that we have worked with all semester, it doesn't hurt to review the terminology with the students, and it only takes a couple of minutes.  When asking for solutions, I typically call on students who need a dose of confidence in their mathematical arsenal.  

On a side note, as the students finish up the warm up problems I instruct them to visit the board where the sticky notes are posted from the opening activity.  I encourage the students to look through the responses from their peers about the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.  Even if the responses are way off target, it gets the students ready for the ensuing discussion (MP2 - MP3).

Examples and Guided Practice

25 minutes

Door-Slap Exit Note

5 minutes

To conclude the class period, I ask the students to re-do their initial sticky note activity and place their new sticky notes (MP7) on the door as the exit.  Incoming students to the next class can't help but see what is on the door and wonder what they will be learning.  I have found that when students have this sensation at the start of class, they are more "locked in" to the day's lesson.  In addition, allowing the exiting class to rethink their initial interpretations of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra forces them to reflect on their learning and how what we have discussed connects to their prior knowledge.  

A more in-depth look at the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra will take place in the following day's lesson as we continue our investigation.