Reflection: Student Ownership Common Factor the Great! - Section 1: Warm up


Today, one of my special education students pointed out that 12 & 18 are right next to each other (in the 6 row) of the multiplication chart. I sensed that she felt a little insecure about her idea since she was using the chart. So, I displayed a chart for the whole class and I asked her to show us what she meant. I suggested this might help us see how the numbers are related.

I was surprised by what happened next. The discussion continued with students pointing out that the factors of 2 and 3 were also next to each other, but they were at the top of the chart. After this observation we discussed the following questions:

  • Do we always end up at the top of the chart when we take out the GCF?
  • Can we always find the GCF on the other side of the chart?
  • Can we use that to figure it (GCF) out?
  • Will it only happen when we divide by the GCF? (I added this question)

Their ideas meandered, but they were engaged in the spirit of inquiry and looking for evidence! (MP3)

I inserted the last question, because they needed help investigating and I didn't want to just tell them. They concluded that it was just a pattern for division in general and not isolated to the GCF, but they figured it out for themselves and were still engaged in examining the necessary relationships!


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  Student Ownership: An interesting thing happened next...
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Common Factor the Great!

Unit 3: Equivalent Expressions
Lesson 16 of 23

Objective: SWBAT use the distributive property to factor out the greatest common factor in a polynomial.

Big Idea: Students will relate factoring a variable expression to a real world situation.

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1 teacher likes this lesson
Math, factoring polynomial expressions, Expressions (Algebra), area model, white boards, real world
  54 minutes
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