Reflection: Trust and Respect Two for One - Section 2: Put it into Action


I expect a little student frustration when I ask them to work out several polynomial expansions before showing them Pascal's triangle.  What surprised me a bit today was the almost angry accusation that I should have just showed them the "easy" way first.  I listened and acknowledged the frustration of some of my students, then explained why I presented the lesson the way I did.  I used the following sports analogy (most of my students in this class are athletes); a coach often asks her/his players to do something more difficult than what they might actually encounter in competition, like running up and down stairs or through tires.  The intent is usually to build endurance, muscle and agility just like my having them do polynomial expansions the "long" way first helps to build mathematical muscles and agility.  I further explain that using Pascal's triangle without first understanding how the polynomial expansions work would be a bit like running a brand new play without ever checking it out in's generally better to understand what you're getting in to!

  The Easy Way
  Trust and Respect: The Easy Way
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Two for One

Unit 2: Algebraic Arithmetic
Lesson 8 of 11

Objective: SWBAT understand the Binomial Theorem. SWBAT apply the Binomial Theorem.

Big Idea: Pascal's triangle is fun and easy to recreate. Now let your students learn a new application that makes algebra easier!

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Math, algebraic expression, Algebra, Expressions (Algebra), algebraic methods, Algebra II, master teacher project, 11th Grade
  55 minutes
two for one
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